Increased salinity is an emerging contaminant of concern for aquatic taxa. For amphibians exposed to salinity, there is scarce information about the physiological effects and changes in osmoregulatory hormones such as corticosterone (CORT) and aldosterone (ALDO). Recent studies have quantified effects of salinity on CORT physiology of amphibians based on waterborne hormone collection methods, but much less is known about ALDO in iono- and osmoregulation of amphibians. We re-assayed waterborne hormone samples from a previous study to investigate effects of salinity (sodium chloride, NaCl) and a glucocorticoid receptor antagonist (RU486) on ALDO of northern leopard frog (Rana pipiens) larvae. We also investigated relationships between ALDO and CORT. Waterborne ALDO marginally decreased with increasing salinity and was, unexpectedly, positively correlated with baseline and stress-induced waterborne CORT. Importantly, ALDO increased when larvae were exposed to RU486, suggesting that RU486 may also suppress mineralocorticoid receptors or that negative feedback of ALDO is mediated through glucocorticoid receptors. Alternatively, CORT increases with RU486 treatment and might be a substrate for ALDO synthesis, which could account for increases in ALDO with RU486 treatment and the correlation between CORT and ALDO. ALDO was negatively correlated with percent water, such that larvae secreting more ALDO retained less water. Although sample sizes were limited and further validation and studies are warranted, our findings expand our understanding of adrenal steroid responses to salinization in amphibians and proposes new hypotheses regarding the co-regulation of ALDO and CORT.
- Receptor antagonist