Contamination of the soil with the explosive 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT) has been found at military sites, many of which are habitats used by reptiles. To provide data useful in assessing ecological risk for reptilian species, acute, subacute, and subchronic oral toxicity studies were conducted with the western fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis). Oral median lethal dose (LD50) values for TNT in corn oil were 1,038 and 1,579 mg/kg of body weight for male and female lizards, respectively. Overt signs of toxicity included chromaturia, abdominal enlargement, and tremors. A 14-d subacute study followed in which male lizards were orally dosed with TNT (corn oil) at 0, 33, 66, 132, 263, 525, and 1,050 mg/kg of body weight each day. Clinical signs of toxicity, while similar to the LD50 study, were more subtle and noted in lizards receiving TNT amounts of at least 66 mg/kg/d. Chromaturia was an early consistent sign, often preceding the onset of adverse effects. Male lizards in the 60-d subchronic study were dosed at 0, 3, 15, 25, 35, and 45 mg/kg/d with nearly complete survival (>90%) for lizards in all treatments. Changes in food consumption and body weight were observed at 35 and 45 mg/kg/d. Alterations in hematological end points; blood chemistries (albumin, total protein, alkaline phosphatase, calcium); kidney, spleen, and liver weights; and adverse histopathology were observed in lizards exposed at 25 to 45 mg/kg/d. Testosterone concentration, sperm count, and motility were variable between treatments. Although not significant, incidences of hypospermia and testicular atrophy were observed in some individuals. Together, these data suggest a lowest-observed-adverse effect level of 25 mg/kg/d and a no-observed-adverse effect level of 15 mg/kg/d in S. occidentalis.
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