John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Prednisolone impairs embryonic and post‐hatching development and shell formation of the freshwater snail, Physa acuta

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The aim of the present study was to investigate the lethal and sublethal effects of prednisolone (PDS) exposure on the embryonic and post‐hatching stage of the freshwater snail, Physa acuta. The egg masses were exposed for 14 d to PDS concentrations ranging from 15.6 to 1000 µg/L. PDS treatments from 125 to 1000 µg/L resulted in significant decline in growth, survival, heart rate and notable abnormalities in embryonic development. Premature embryonic hatching was observed in lower concentrations of 31.25 and 62.5 µg/L, whereas delayed hatching was seen in concentrations from 125 to 1000 µg/L. To assess impacts of PDS exposure on the hatched juveniles, the drug exposure was extended for another 28 d. Impairment in shell development was noted in juveniles exposed to concentrations from 62.5 to 1000 µg/L at the end of 42 d, which resulted in thin and fragile shells. The thickness of shells in snails exposed to 1000 µg/L was significantly lower in comparison to those in the 15.6 µg/L and control treatments. In addition, lower calcium concentration in shells of the exposed juvenile snails in treatments 62.5‐1000 µg/L consequently reduced their growth. The present study confirms that a continuous exposure to PDS can result in deleterious effects on the calcium deposition resulting in shell thinning in the freshwater snail, P. acuta. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved

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