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Chemosphere. 2008 Jan;70(5):865-73. Epub 2007 Sep 4.

The effects of pH on fluoxetine in Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes): acute toxicity in fish larvae and bioaccumulation in juvenile fish.

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  • 1University of Tokushima, Department of Mathematical and Natural Sciences, 1-1, Minamijosanjima-cho, Tokushima 770-8502, Japan.


Recent detection of fluoxetine in the aquatic environment and fish suggests a possibly high accumulation of fluoxetine; however, no report is available on the bioaccumulation of fluoxetine in aquatic organisms. Since bioaccumulation of fluoxetine was probably dependent on pH near the pK(a) value of 10.1, experiments were conducted approximately at pH 7, 8, and 9. Distribution coefficients between 1-octanol and water (D(ow)), and those between synthetic membrane vesicles (liposomes) and water (D(lip-wat)) were determined at pH 7, 8, and 9. The D(ow) and D(lip-wat) values increased significantly with increasing pH. Acute toxicity tests were performed using Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes) prior to the bioaccumulation test, and 96-h LC(50) values were 5.5, 1.3, and 0.20mgl(-1) at pH 7, 8, and 9, respectively. In the bioaccumulation test, concentrations of fluoxetine and its major metabolite, norfluoxetine, in the fish body and liver were measured. The bioconcentration factors (BCF) of fluoxetine for Japanese medaka were 8.8, 3.0x10, and 2.6x10(2) in the body and 3.3x10(2), 5.8x10(2), and 3.1x10(3) in the liver at pH 7, 8, and 9, respectively. The BCF values were lower at pH 7 and higher at pH 9 mainly because of the increase in nonionized species with significantly higher hydrophobicity than the ionized species at pH values closer to pK(a). A similar trend was obtained for the concentration of norfluoxetine in the fish but the pseudo-BCF values (the ratio of the norfluoxetine concentration in the fish and the fluoxetine concentration in test water) were higher than the BCF value of fluoxetine at all pH conditions.

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