Sub-lethal effects of calcium dinonylnaphthalenesulfonate on Western clawed frog embryos Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Naphthalene sulfonic acids (NSAs) are used as additives in lubricants, dyes, and greases and commonly act as surfactants in many industrial processes. The calcium salt of dinonyl NSA (calcium dinonylnaphthalenesulfonate; CaDNS) is listed among thousands of chemicals identified as priorities for assessment by the Government of Canada's Chemical Management Plan due to the limited toxicity data. The purpose of this study was two-fold: 1) to establish the toxicity of CaDNS to Western clawed frog (Silurana tropicalis) embryos and 2) to assess the sub-lethal effects and mechanisms of toxicity of CaDNS in amphibians through targeted gene expression and metabolite analyses. Frog embryos were exposed to water overlying sand spiked with a range of concentrations of CaDNS (17-1393 μg/g) over a 72-h period. Results indicated significantly higher mortality and presence of malformations in frog larvae exposed to over 672 μg/g CaDNS in the sand (14 ng/mL CaDNS in the water) compared to control treatments. An overall decrease in the glutathione redox cycle was observed, including decreases in relative mRNA levels of enzymes (glutathione S-transferase (gst), glutathione reductase (gsr), glutathione peroxidase (gpx)) and decreases in the glutathione (GSH) and glutathione disulfide (GSSG) metabolite concentrations. In addition, transcript levels of genes involved in antioxidant capacity and essential amino acid metabolites decreased significantly in embryos exposed to low levels of CaDNS. This is the first study to assess the toxicity of NSAs in amphibians, contributing important data to aid in the assessment of NSAs.


  • Wallace, SJ
  • Leclerc, AJA
  • Prosser, Ryan
  • de Solla, SR
  • Balakrishnan, V
  • Langlois, VS

publication date

  • June 2020