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Histological changes, lipid metabolism and oxidative stress in the liver of Bufo gargarizans exposed to cadmium concentrations

Wu, Chao, Zhang, Yuhui, Chai, Lihong, Wang, Hongyuan
Chemosphere 2017 v.179 pp. 337-346
Bufo, beta oxidation, body length, body weight, cadmium, fatty acids, gene expression, genes, hepatotoxicity, larvae, liver, messenger RNA, metamorphosis, mitochondria, oxidative stress, signal transduction, superoxide dismutase, thyroid gland, thyroid hormones, toads, transmission electron microscopy
Chinese toad (Bufo gargarizans) were exposed to different concentrations of cadmium (5, 50, 100, 200 and 500 μg Cd L⁻¹) from Gosner stage 3–42. Metamorphosis rate, body weight, total length and body length were measured. Histological alterations in thyroid gland and liver were examined. Changes in hepatocyte were also examined using Transmission electron microscopic. In addition, the mRNA expression of several genes involved in lipid metabolism, oxidative stress and thyroid hormones signaling pathways were also measured. Our results showed that 200 and 500 μg Cd L⁻¹ decreased the metamorphosis rate and inhibited the body size of B. gargarizans larvae at G42. Moreover, histological examinations have clearly exhibited that cadmium caused liver damage. Ultrastructural examination revealed lipid accumulation and abnormal mitochondria. Exposure to 200 and 500 μg Cd L⁻¹ significantly up-regulated mRNA expression of D2, SOD, GPx, ACC and FAE, but down-regulated mRNA expression of TRα, TRβ, PPARα, ACOX, CPT and SCP. However, low Cd concentration (5, 50 and 100) exposure did not cause any effect in genes expression. Thus, we conclude that high Cd concentrations could affect the normal processes of lipid metabolism though increasing lipid synthesis and reducing the ability of fatty acid β-oxidation, and disturb thyroid hormone pathways in liver, and induced oxidative stress. In addition, lipid metabolism might be regulated by THs. To our knowledge, the present study is the first to report the influence of cadmium on hepatic lipid metabolism in B. gargarizans and will greatly provide new insights into cadmium hepatotoxicity in amphibian.