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Title: Characterization and quantification of corticosteroid-binding globulin in a southern toad, Bufo terrestris, exposed to coal-combustion-waste

Abstract

Corticosteroid-binding globulin (CBG) is a plasma protein that binds corticosterone and may regulate access of hormone to tissues. The role of CBG during a stress response is not clear. In this study, southern toads, Bufo terrestris, were exposed to a chronic pollutant (coal-combustion-waste), to determine changes in CBG and free corticosterone levels. Since toads exposed to chronic pollutants in previous studies did not exhibit the predicted changes in metabolic rate and mass, but did experience a significant elevation in total corticosterone, we hypothesized that CBG would likewise increase and thus, mitigate the effects of a chronic (i.e. 2 months) pollutant stressor. To conduct this study, we first characterized the properties of CBG in southern toads. After characterization, we monitored the changes in CBG, total corticosterone, and free corticosterone in male toads that were exposed to either coal-combustion-waste or control conditions. CBG increased in all groups throughout the experiment. Total corticosterone, on the other hand, was only significantly elevated at four weeks of exposure to coal-combustion-waste. The increase in CBG did not parallel the increase in total corticosterone; as a result, free corticosterone levels were not buffered by CBG, but showed a peak at four weeks similar to total corticosterone. Thismore » finding indicates that, in this species, CBG may not provide a protective mechanism during long-term pollution exposure.« less

Authors:
; ; ;  [1]
  1. Auburn University, Auburn, AL (USA). Dept. of Biological Science
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
20923887
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: General and Comparative Endocrinology; Journal Volume: 152; Journal Issue: 1
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
01 COAL, LIGNITE, AND PEAT; AMPHIBIANS; FROGS; ASHES; FLY ASH; COAL; BIOCHEMISTRY; GLOBULINS; BIOLOGICAL EFFECTS; HORMONES; WATER POLLUTION; STEROIDS; METALS

Citation Formats

Ward, C.K., Fontes, C., Breuner, C.W., and Mendonca, M.T. Characterization and quantification of corticosteroid-binding globulin in a southern toad, Bufo terrestris, exposed to coal-combustion-waste. United States: N. p., 2007. Web. doi:10.1016/j.ygcen.2007.02.031.
Ward, C.K., Fontes, C., Breuner, C.W., & Mendonca, M.T. Characterization and quantification of corticosteroid-binding globulin in a southern toad, Bufo terrestris, exposed to coal-combustion-waste. United States. doi:10.1016/j.ygcen.2007.02.031.
Ward, C.K., Fontes, C., Breuner, C.W., and Mendonca, M.T. Tue . "Characterization and quantification of corticosteroid-binding globulin in a southern toad, Bufo terrestris, exposed to coal-combustion-waste". United States. doi:10.1016/j.ygcen.2007.02.031.
@article{osti_20923887,
title = {Characterization and quantification of corticosteroid-binding globulin in a southern toad, Bufo terrestris, exposed to coal-combustion-waste},
author = {Ward, C.K. and Fontes, C. and Breuner, C.W. and Mendonca, M.T.},
abstractNote = {Corticosteroid-binding globulin (CBG) is a plasma protein that binds corticosterone and may regulate access of hormone to tissues. The role of CBG during a stress response is not clear. In this study, southern toads, Bufo terrestris, were exposed to a chronic pollutant (coal-combustion-waste), to determine changes in CBG and free corticosterone levels. Since toads exposed to chronic pollutants in previous studies did not exhibit the predicted changes in metabolic rate and mass, but did experience a significant elevation in total corticosterone, we hypothesized that CBG would likewise increase and thus, mitigate the effects of a chronic (i.e. 2 months) pollutant stressor. To conduct this study, we first characterized the properties of CBG in southern toads. After characterization, we monitored the changes in CBG, total corticosterone, and free corticosterone in male toads that were exposed to either coal-combustion-waste or control conditions. CBG increased in all groups throughout the experiment. Total corticosterone, on the other hand, was only significantly elevated at four weeks of exposure to coal-combustion-waste. The increase in CBG did not parallel the increase in total corticosterone; as a result, free corticosterone levels were not buffered by CBG, but showed a peak at four weeks similar to total corticosterone. This finding indicates that, in this species, CBG may not provide a protective mechanism during long-term pollution exposure.},
doi = {10.1016/j.ygcen.2007.02.031},
journal = {General and Comparative Endocrinology},
number = 1,
volume = 152,
place = {United States},
year = {Tue May 15 00:00:00 EDT 2007},
month = {Tue May 15 00:00:00 EDT 2007}
}
  • Southern toads (Bufo terrestris) are found in coal fly ash collection basins associated with coal-burning electrical power plants. These basins contain large amounts of trace metals and organisms found in these basins are known to accumulate large quantities of metals. Studies on a variety of organisms exposed to trace metals found that they experience a significant increase in standard metabolic rate. We experimentally exposed southern toads to metal-contaminated sediment and food and measured changes in standard and exercise metabolic rates as well as changes in body, liver and muscle mass, blood glucose, and corticosterone. We found that toads exposed tomore » trace metal contamination gained significantly less mass (18.3%) than control toads (31.3%) when food was limited and experienced significantly decreased RQ after exercise. However, contaminated toads did not experience changes in standard or exercise metabolic rates, plasma glucose levels, and hepatic or muscle percentage indices whether food was limited or not.« less
  • Accumulation and depuration of metals by an organism are underrepresented in the literature. We collected southern toads (Bufo terrestris) from coal by-product (ash)-contaminated and uncontaminated sites to examine metal concentrations over time. Toads were placed in four exposure regimes, then sacrificed periodically over a 5-month period, and whole-body metal levels were measured. Toads exposed to ash accumulated significant concentrations of metals. Metal concentrations changed throughout the experiment, and profiles of accumulation and depuration differed depending on the metal and exposure regime. Ash-exposed toads exhibited elevated levels of 11 of 18 metals measured. Increases ranged from 47.5% for Pb to moremore » than 5000% for As. Eight of 18 metals did not change in control toads, while 10 of 18 metals decreased in toads removed from ash, ranging from -25% for Co to -96% for Tl. Seven metals that decreased in toads removed from ash did not change in control toads.« less
  • Despite their potential vulnerability to contaminants from exposure at multiple life stages, amphibians are one of the least studied groups of vertebrates in ecotoxicology, and research on radiation effects in amphibians is scarce. We used multiple endpoints to assess the radiosensitivity of the southern toad ( Anaxyrus [Bufo] terrestris) during its pre-terrestrial stages of development –embryonic, larval, and metamorphic. Toads were exposed, from several hours after oviposition through metamorphosis (up to 77 days later), to four low dose rates of ¹³⁷Cs at 0.13, 2.4, 21, and 222 mGy d⁻¹, resulting in total doses up to 15.8 Gy. Radiation treatments didmore » not affect hatching success of embryos, larval survival, or the length of the larval period. The individual family variation in hatching success of embryos was larger than the radiation response. In contrast, newly metamorphosed individuals from the higher dose-rate treatments had higher mass and mass/length body indices, a measure which may relate to higher post-metamorphic survival. The increased mass and index at higher dose rates may indicate that the chronic, low dose rate radiation exposures triggered secondary responses. Additionally, the increases in growth were linked to a decrease in DNA damage (as measured by the Comet Assay) in red blood cells at a dose rate of 21mGy d⁻¹ and a total dose of 1.1 Gy. In conclusion, the complex effects of low dose rates of ionizing radiation may trigger growth and cellular repair mechanisms in amphibian larvae.« less
  • More than 50% of the electricity in the United States is produced by coal-burning power plants. The byproduct of coal-burning plants is coal fly ash, which contains increased concentrations of trace metals and is disposed of in collection basins. Southern toads (Bufo terrestris) frequently use these basins for reproduction. Male toads were collected in spring 2001 and 2002 from an ash basin and a reference site and divided into four groups: toads collected at the control site and maintained on (1) control substrate and food or (2) ash and contaminated food and toads collected at the ash site and maintainedmore » in (3) control or (4) ash conditions. Blood was collected periodically during 5 months to determine testosterone and corticosterone concentrations. Reference to ash toads exhibited a significant, transient increase in corticosterone at 4 weeks, but neither corticosterone nor testosterone continued to increase beyond this time. In contrast, toads caught and maintained on ash did not exhibit increased corticosterone. Testosterone in these toads appeared to be unrelated to ash exposure. This unexpected lack of a corticosterone response and no effect on testosterone suggests that toads chronically exposed to trace metals can acclimate to a polluted environment, but they may still experience subtle long-term consequences.« less