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Chemosphere. 2010 Aug;80(9):1062-8. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2010.05.010. Epub 2010 Jun 16.

Toxic effects and bioaccumulation of carbamazepine evaluated by biomarkers measured in organisms of different trophic levels.

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Department of Biological Sciences-TOXEN, Université de Québec à Montréal, Succ. Centre-Ville, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


The antiepileptic drug carbamazapine (CBZ) readily persists in sewage-water treatment plant wastewaters and finds its way into receiving water bodies. Our study sought to examine the bioaccumulation and toxicity of CBZ using an experimental aquatic trophic chain composed of the green alga, Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata, the crustacean, Thamnocephalus platyurus, and the cnidarian, Hydra attenuata. Bioaccumulation of CBZ was estimated by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry and revealed bioaccumulation factors of 2.2 and 12.6, respectively, in algae and crustaceans. No significant bioaccumulation was observed in H. attenuata. In T. platyurus, a strong stimulation of global heme oxidase (HO) (76%), and glutathione-S-transferase activity (130%) but a drastic inhibition of cytochrome P450 3A-like activity was found which suggests alteration of enzyme activity by CBZ. However, in the hydranth H. attenuata, an increase in both global cytochrome and cytochrome P450 3A-like activity was found, while GST activity was inhibited. Lipid peroxidation was reduced in T. platyurus and H. attenuata suggesting that redox activity of the lipophilic CBZ was at play. This study highlighted the processes of carbamazepine toxicity transfer between trophic levels in aquatic organisms.

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