Amphibian embryos as an alternative model to study the pharmaceutical toxicity of cyclophosphamide and ibuprofen

  • Blerta Turani | Department of Food Technology, High Professional College, “Qiriazi” University College, Tirana, Albania.
  • Valbona Aliko Department of Biology, Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Tirana, Tirana, Albania.
  • Caterina Faggio Department of Chemical, Biological, Pharmaceutical and Environmental Sciences, University of Messina, Messina, Italy.


Pharmaceuticals are becoming potentially ubiquitous pollutants because of their extensive use by man. One of the most frequent groups of pharmaceuticals that have been identified as particularly concerning is that of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory and chemotherapeutic drugs. In Albania, studies to determine the risk of pharmaceuticals in conjunction with their occurrence in water bodies and their adverse effects on living organisms, including humans, are scarce. The purpose of this study was to elucidate the possible toxic effects of ibuprofen (IBU) and cyclophosphamide (CP) on cellular physiology of frog tadpoles. For this purpose, individuals of Pelophylax shqipericus belonging to stage 21 Gosner were exposed to sub-lethal concentration (5 μg/L) of IBU and CP for 48 hours, and erythrocyte abnormalities and micronucleated cell frequency were evaluated as endpoints. Blood smears from tadpoles exposed to CP for 48 hours showed a pronounced decrease in the number of red blood cells and an increase in the percentage of micronucleated erythrocytes through chromatin fragmentation, while abnormalities like cellular and nuclear vacuolization, collapse and rupture of the cell membrane were caused by IBU toxicity. Understanding the biological effects of these drugs on frog tadpoles can help in using these animals as reliable bio-indicator organisms in monitoring aquatic environments health.



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Original Articles
Supporting Agencies
University of Tirana, Albania
Amphibian embryos, Tadpoles, Pharmaceuticals, Ibuprofen, Cyclophosphamide
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How to Cite
Turani, B., Aliko, V., & Faggio, C. (2019). Amphibian embryos as an alternative model to study the pharmaceutical toxicity of cyclophosphamide and ibuprofen. Journal of Biological Research - Bollettino Della Società Italiana Di Biologia Sperimentale, 92(2).