Exposure of Northern Leopard Frogs in the Green Bay Ecosystem to Polychlorinated Biphenyls, Polychlorinated Dibenzo-P-dioxins, and Polychlorinated Dibenzofurans Is Measured by Direct Chemistry But Not Hepatic Ethoxyresorufin-o-deethylase Activity


We measured concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs) in northern leopard frogs collected from the Green Bay ecosystem and explored the catalytic activity of hepatic cytochrome P450-associated monooxygenase (P450 enzyme) as a biomarker for exposure to aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) agonists. The two hypotheses tested were PCH concentrations in northern leopard frogs would be positively correlated with sediment polychlorinated hydrocarbon (PCH) levels in wetland habitats along a contamination gradient and hepatic ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD) activity of northern leopard frogs, which is presumably mediated by aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), would be positively correlated with PCH concentrations in frog carcasses (whole body minus liver) from different collection sites. In 1994 to 1995, frogs from seven sites along the lower Fox River and Green Bay, USA, were assayed for hepatic EROD activities and whole carcass concentrations of PCBs, PCDDs, and PCDFs. Tissue total PCB concentrations ranging from 3 to 154 ng/g were significantly correlated with sediment PCB levels. Only one PCDD and two PCDFs at concentrations of 6 to 8 pg/g were found in the frogs collected from one of the sites. The EROD activity in frogs ranging from 186 to 270 pmol/min/mg protein was not significantly correlated with frog body weight and was similar among sites except for Peter's Marsh. No significant correlation was found between EROD activity and carcass PCB concentration. This result was consistent with the fact that the frogs collected from the Green Bay ecosystem had relatively low PCB concentrations compared with what was required for induction in the laboratory (ED50 for EROD is between 700 and 2,300 ng/g).


Biological Sciences

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© 1999 SETAC Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Oct 1999