• thyroid disruption;
  • xenopus;
  • tail resorption;
  • validation


Short-term static-renewal studies were performed on Xenopus laevis embryos with 16 selected test materials from day 50 (stage 60) to day 64 (stage 66) (14-day test) to evaluate effects on tail resorption and thyroid function. Of the 16 test materials, nine were found to inhibit significantly the rate of tail resorption, four were found to stimulate metamorphosis and three had no appreciable effect on the rate of metamorphosis. In an effort to determine if the morphological effects observed were related to alteration in thyroid activity, measurement of triiodothyronine (T3) in the test organisms and co-administration studies using thyroxine (agonist) or propylthiouracil (antagonist) were performed based on the morphological response noted during tail resorption. Of the nine compounds found to inhibit the rate of tail resorption, six were found to reduce the levels of T3. In each case, the inhibitory response could be at least partially alleviated by the co-administration of thyroxine. Larvae exposed to the four stimulatory agents had somewhat elevated levels of T3 and were responsive to propylthiouracil antagonism. These results suggest that 12 of the 14 compounds tested in this study that altered the rate of tail resorption did so via the thyroid axis. Overall, the X. laevis model appeared to be a suitable system for evaluating the impact of environmental agents and chemical products on thyroid function. Copyright © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.