Effects of 17α-trenbolone and melengestrol acetate on Xenopus laevis growth, development, and survival

Bryson E. Finch, Brett R. Blackwell, Derek R. Faust, Kimberly J. Wooten, Jonathan D. Maul, Stephen B. Cox, Philip N. Smith

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16 Scopus citations


The synthetic growth-promoting hormones trenbolone and melengestrol acetate have been detected in the environment near beef cattle feedlots and are reportedly transported via wind-borne particulate matter. Therefore, movement of synthetic hormones from beef cattle feedlots to water bodies via particulate matter is possible. Our objective was to evaluate potential effects of 17α-trenbolone (17α-TB), melengestrol acetate (MGA), and combinations of both on growth, development, and survival of Xenopus laevis larvae. On post-hatch day 2 (stage 33/34), X. laevis larvae were exposed to three nominal concentrations of 17α-TB (10, 100, and 500 ng/L), MGA (1, 10, and 100 ng/L), a combination of both (1/10, 10/100, and 100/500 ng/L MGA/17α-TB), frog embryo teratogenesis assay-Xenopus medium, or a solvent control. Significant increases in all X. laevis growth metrics were observed among larvae in the 1 ng/L MGA + 10 ng/L 17α-TB and 10 ng/L MGA + 100 ng/L 17α-TB treatments. Stage of development was increased among larvae in the 1 ng/L MGA + 10 ng/L 17α-TB treatment group and significantly decreased among those in the 500 ng/L 17α-TB treatment. Total body mass and snout-vent length of X. laevis larvae were significantly reduced in the 100 ng/L MGA and 100 ng/L MGA + 500 ng/L 17α-TB treatment groups. Larvae exposed to 500 ng/L 17α-TB had decreased total body mass, snout-vent length, and total length. In general, growth measurements decreased with increasing concentration of MGA, 17α-TB, or a combination of both. Survival among all treatments was not significantly different from controls. Amphibians exposed to MGA and 17α-TB in the environment may experience alterations in growth and development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1151-1160
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013



  • Amphibian
  • Development
  • Growth
  • Hormone
  • Melengestrol
  • Trenbolone
  • Xenopus laevis

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