Skip to main content

Effects of lithium and selenium in the tail muscle of American bullfrog tadpoles (Lithobates catesbeianus) during premetamorphosis


The amphibian populations have faced a drastic decline over the past decades. This decline has been associated with the presence of contaminants in the environment, among other environmental stressors. The present study tested the responses following the exposure to lithium (2.5 mg L−1) and selenium (10μg L−1), both isolated and as a mixture, on the metabolic status of the tail muscle of premetamorphic American bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus) through the assessment of the total protein content, mobilization of glucose and triglycerides, and the activity of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH). The exposure followed a 21-day assay with two sampling periods (on the 7th and 21st day after the onset of exposure) to evaluate the effects over time. The group exposed to the mixture presented a statistically decreased LDH activity (P < 0.05) in both sampling periods. The presence of selenium elicited a statistically significant increase (P < 0.05) in the glucose mobilization after 7 days of exposure. After 21 days, the animals exposed to selenium presented levels of glucose mobilization comparable to the control group. The mobilization of glucose and triglycerides remained similar to the control group for the animals exposed to lithium and to the mixture in both periods of sampling (P > 0.05). The total protein content did not show any statistical difference in the treated groups throughout the experiment (P > 0.05). The presented results highlight the importance of the assessment of mixtures that can occur in the environment, since the combination of contaminants may elicit distinct toxicity compared with the effects triggered by the chemicals isolated.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4

Data availability

The datasets used and/or analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.


Download references


The authors would like to acknowledge RECETOX research infrastructure (the Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports: LM2018121) and the CETOCOEN EXCELLENCE Teaming 2 project supported by Horizon2020 (857560) and the Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (02.1.01/0.0/0.0/18_046/0015975).


CAPES (Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Level—or Education—Personnel) Scholarship for Social Demand Code 001 to FAPV. Brazilian Institute of Comparative Physiology INCT-FisC (CNPq 573921/2008-3 and FAPESP 2008/57712-4) grant to MJC and FAPESP (grant number 2017/03653-6) and the Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development CNPq (grant number 302812/2016-4) to FAPESP (no. 2011/50752-3).

Author information

Authors and Affiliations



Felipe Augusto Pinto Vidal: Investigation, writing the original draft, data analysis, and methodology. Fábio Camargo Abdalla: Investigation, methodology, and writing—review and editing. Cleoni dos Santos Carvalho: writing—review and editing. Heidi Samantha Moraes Utsunomiya: Investigation. Raquel Fernanda Salla: Data curation and writing—review and editing. Monica Jones-Costa: Supervision, writing—review and editing—and project administration.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Felipe Augusto Pinto-Vidal.

Ethics declarations

Ethics approval

All the proceedings regarding the use of vertebrates were previously approved by the University’s Animal Ethics and Experimentation Committee (CEUA # 1397170117) from the Federal University of São Carlos, Brazil.

Consent to participate

Not applicable.

Consent of publication

All the authors agreed with the present publication.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Additional information

Responsible Editor: Bruno Nunes

Publisher’s note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Pinto-Vidal, .A., Carvalho, C.d.S., Abdalla, F.C. et al. Effects of lithium and selenium in the tail muscle of American bullfrog tadpoles (Lithobates catesbeianus) during premetamorphosis. Environ Sci Pollut Res 29, 1975–1984 (2022).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: