Partial life-cycle toxicity and bioconcentration modeling of perfluorooctanesulfonate in the northern leopard frog (Rana pipiens)

Gerald T. Ankley, Douglas W. Kuehl, Michael D. Kahl, Kathleen M. Jensen, Brian C. Butterworth, John W. Nichols

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


A number of recent monitoring studies have demonstrated elevated concentrations of perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS) in humans and wildlife throughout the world. Although no longer manufactured in the United States, the global distribution and relative persistence of PFOS indicates a need to understand its potential ecological effects. Presently, little is known concerning toxicity of PFOS in chronic exposures with aquatic species. Therefore, we evaluated the effects of PFOS on survival and development of the northern leopard frog (Rana pipiens) from early embryogenesis through complete metamorphosis. Exposures were conducted via water at measured PFOS concentrations ranging from 0.03 to 10 mg/L. Animals exposed to 10 mg/L began dying within approximately two weeks of test initiation. Survival was not affected by PFOS at lower concentrations; however, time to metamorphosis was delayed and growth reduced in the 3-mg/L treatment group. Tadpoles readily accumulated PFOS directly from water. Using a one-compartment bioaccumulation model, growth was shown to have a modest impact on steady-state PFOS concentrations. Variability in observed growth rates and the possible contribution of a size-dependent decrease in PFOS elimination rate contributed uncertainty to modeling efforts. Nevertheless, fitted uptake and elimination rate constants were comparable to those determined in earlier studies with juvenile rainbow trout. Overall, our studies suggest that R. pipiens is not exceptionally sensitive to PFOS in terms of either direct toxicity or bioconcentration potential of the chemical.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2745-2755
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2004


  • Amphibian
  • Bioconcentration
  • Perfluorooctanesulfonate
  • Toxicity

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Partial life-cycle toxicity and bioconcentration modeling of perfluorooctanesulfonate in the northern leopard frog (Rana pipiens)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this