Cane toad toxicity: An assessment of extracts from early developmental stages and adult tissues using MDCK cell culture

Damien Halliday, Daryl Venables, David Moore, Thayalini Shanmuganathan, Jackie Pallister, Alex Hyatt

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Extracts of the cane toad (Bufo[Chaunus]marinus) adversely affected the growth ofMardin–Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells during culture. In a similar manner to ouabaintreatment, application of toad extracts over a 24 h period resulted in high levels of cyto-toxicity, as indicated by cell detachment, increased membrane permeability and loss of mitochondrial function. Cell viability and growth were unchanged for controls (PBS) and increased with the application of Limnodynastes peronii tadpole and adult frog extracts. We investigated the general cytotoxicity of cane toad developmental stages (e.g. eggs,embryonic hatchlings, tadpoles and post-metamorphic toadlets) as well as selected adult tissues (e.g. skin, gut, liver). Our results showed that pre-metamorphic cane toad aqueous extracts used at 1 mg/ml on MDCK cells generated cytotoxicity levels comparable to ouabain treatment (3mM). After normalisation, extracts from 2–3-month-old toadletsappeared less toxic than pre- and early metamorphic stages. Adult tissues revealed a gradient of cytotoxicity levels ranging from non-toxic brain to highly toxic dorsal skin extracts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


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