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.
- Xenopus laevis