Effects of Bisphenol A and Methoxychlor on Xenopus laevis Embryos
Primordial germ cells (PGCs) are a population of cells that will ultimately differentiate into the organism’s sex cells. Their distinctiveness from somatic cells stems from the maintenance of pluripotency much longer than the surrounding differentiating cells. The toxins bisphenol-A (BPA) and methoxychlor (MXC) have been shown to have adverse effects on the reproductive systems of various animal models. Here, we use model organism Xenopus laevis to probe the fate of primordial germs cells in the developing Xenopus embryo in response to the presence of these toxicants. We show that BPA affects the total PGC population at the tailbud stage when the embryos are exposed at the 32-cell stage. Conversely, MXC did not exhibit an effect on the final PGC count. However, exposure to MXC does result in somatic malformation such as, decrease in tailbud melanocytes, a malformed gut, and early onset muscle movements.