Evaluation of Teratogenicity of Pharmaceuticals Using FETAX
Pharmaceuticals are chemical compounds which are used to preserve human and animal health. Once administered, these compounds are metabolized or can remain unaltered until excreted. Therefore, a mixture of pharmaceuticals and their metabolites enters municipal sewers and wastewater treatment plants where, depending on their polarity, water solubility, and persistence, they cannot be completely removed or transformed during the treatment process, so that unaltered pharmaceuticals and/or their metabolites can enter surface water. As a result, in recent years concern has grown about trace concentrations and the risk they pose to ecosystems, considering the annual increase in pharmaceutical production and use at world level.
This chapter reviews the frog embryo teratogenesis assay—Xenopus (FETAX). Originally developed during the mid-1980s as a test for detecting the developmental toxicity of pure chemical products and complex mixtures in the laboratory, in recent years it has been used to evaluate the mechanisms of action, biotransformation, and detoxification of xenobiotics as well as in ecotoxicology studies using alternative species and in situ monitoring.
Key wordsTeratogenesis FETAX Pharmaceuticals Xenopus laevis
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