Re-evaluation of thyroid hormone signaling antagonism of tetrabromobisphenol A for validating the T3-induced Xenopus metamorphosis assay

Yao Wang , Yuanyuan Li , Zhanfen Qin , Wuji Wei


Received July 16, 2016,Revised August 24, 2016, Accepted September 13, 2016, Available online November 24, 2016

Volume 29,2017,Pages 325-332

We developed the T3-induced Xenopus metamorphosis assay, which is supposed to be able to sensitively detect thyroid hormone (TH) signaling disruption of chemicals. The present study aimed to validate the T3-induced Xenopus metamorphosis assay by re-evaluating the TH signaling antagonism of tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA), a known TH signaling disruptor. According to the assay we developed, Xenopus tadpoles at stage 52 were exposed to 10–500 nmol/L TBBPA in the presence of 1 nmol/L T3. After 96 hr of exposure, TBBPA in the range of 10–500 nmol/L was found to significantly inhibit T3-induced morphological changes of Xenopus tadpoles in a concentration-dependent manner in term of body weight and four morphological endpoints including head area (HA), mouth width (MW), unilateral brain width/brain length (ULBW/BL), and hind-limb length/snout-vent length (HLL/SVL). The results show that these endpoints we developed are sensitive for characterizing the antagonistic effects of TBBPA on T3-induced metamorphosis. Following a 24-hr exposure, we found that TBBPA antagonized expression of T3-induced TH-response genes in the tail, which is consistent with previous findings in the intestine. We propose that the tail can be used as an alternative tissue to the intestine for examining molecular endpoints for evaluating TH signaling disruption. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that the T3-induced Xenopus metamorphosis assay we developed is an ideal in vivo assay for detecting TH signaling disruption.

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