Amphibians Ecotoxicolgy Lab (FBCB-UNL-CONICET)

About the lab

Amphibians of the Litoral: Ecotoxicology and Conservation

"Development of research work on issues related to Ecotoxicology, Bioecology and Conservation of amphibians with distribution in the Fluvial Litoral of Argentina"

Featured research (26)

Antiretrovirals are pharmaceuticals used in the treatment of the human immunodeficiency virus; they are contaminants of emerging concern that have received considerable attention in recent decades due to their potential negative environmental effects. Data on the bioaccumulation and possible environmental risks posed by these drugs to aquatic organisms are very scarce. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the bioaccumulation of abacavir and efavirenz in Rhinella arenarum tadpoles subjected to acute static toxicity tests (96 h) at environmentally relevant concentrations. The analytical procedure consisted of the development and optimization of a method involving ultra-high performance liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry detection. The instrumental conditions, optimized by design of experiments using the response surface methodology, yielded limits of detection of 0.3 μg L⁻¹ for abacavir and 0.9 μg L⁻¹ for efavirenz; and limits of quantification of 1.9 μg L⁻¹ for abacavir and 5.6 μg L⁻¹ for efavirenz. Subsequently, the bioaccumulation of the pharmaceutical drugs in tadpoles was evaluated at three exposure concentrations. Efavirenz displayed the highest bioaccumulation levels. This study shows the bioaccumulation potential of abacavir and efavirenz in amphibian tadpoles at exposure concentrations similar to those already detected in the environment, indicating an ecological risk for R. arenarum and probably other aquatic organisms exposed to these drugs in water bodies.
The heart begins to form early during vertebrate development and is the first functional organ of the embryo. This study aimed to describe and compare the heart development in three Neotropical anuran species, Physalaemus albonotatus, Elachistocleis bicolor, and Scinax nasicus. Different Gosner Stages (GS) of embryos (GS 18–20) and premetamorphic (GS 21–25), prometamorphic (GS 26–41) and metamorphic (GS 42–46) tadpoles were analyzed using stereoscopic microscopy and Scanning Electronic Microscopy. Heart development was similar in the three analyzed species; however, some heterochronic events were identified between P. albonotatus and S. nasicus compared to E. bicolor. In addition, different patterns of melanophores arrangement were observed. During the embryonic and metamorphic periods, the main morphogenetic events occur: formation of the heart tube, regionalization of the heart compartments, development of spiral valve, onset of heartbeat, looping, and final displacement of the atrium and its complete septation. Both periods are critical for the normal morphogenesis and the correct functioning of the anuran heart. These results are useful to characterize the normal anuran heart morphology and to identify possible abnormalities caused by exposure to environmental contaminants.

Lab head

Rafael C Lajmanovich

Members (7)

Paola M Peltzer
  • Universidad Nacional del Litoral
Andrés M Attademo
  • Universidad Nacional del Litoral
Agustín Bassó
  • Universidad Nacional del Litoral
Evelina Leon
  • Amphibians Ecotoxicolgy Lab (FBCB-UNL-CONICET) - Instituto Nacional de Limnología (INALI)
Ana Paula Cuzziol Boccioni
  • Universidad Nacional del Litoral
Lucila Curi
  • National University of the Northeast
Candela Soledad Martinuzzi
  • Universidad Nacional del Litoral
Silvia Noemí Seib
Silvia Noemí Seib
  • Not confirmed yet