Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome in gonadotropin-treated laboratory South African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis).
Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHS) is a rare but sometimes fatal iatrogenic complication of ovarian stimulation associated with the administration of exogenous gonadotropins to women undergoing treatment for infertility. Laboratory Xenopus spp are commonly treated with human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) to stimulate ovulation and optimize the number of oocytes harvested for use in biomedical research. Here we report cases of OHS in 2 gonadotropin-treated laboratory Xenopus laevis. After receiving hCG, the frogs developed severe subcutaneous accumulation of fluid, coelomic distention, and whole-body edema and were unable to dive, although they continued to eat and swim. At postmortem examination, extensive subcutaneous edema was present; ascites and massive numbers of free-floating eggs were found in the coelomic cavity and in aberrant locations: around the heart-sac and adhered to the liver capsule. Whole-body edema, gross enlargement of the ovaries, ascites, and abdominal distention are findings comparable to those observed in women with OHS. The pathophysiology of OHS is thought to be related to hormonally induced disturbances of vasoactive mediators, one of which may be vascular endothelial growth factor secreted by theca and granulosa cells. We know of no other report describing OHSlike symptoms in gonadotropin-treated frogs, and the cases described here are 2 of the 3 we have observed at our respective institutions over the last 6 y. According to these results, OHS appears to be rare in gonadotropin-treated laboratory Xenopus. However, the condition should be included in the differential diagnosis for the bloated frog.
PubMed ID: 17487957
Article link: J Am Assoc Lab Anim Sci.