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Environ Pollut. 2012 Aug;167:163-70. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2012.03.039. Epub 2012 May 9.

Global gene expression in larval zebrafish (Danio rerio) exposed to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (fluoxetine and sertraline) reveals unique expression profiles and potential biomarkers of exposure.

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Center for Environmental Biotechnology, University of Tennessee, 676 Dabney Hall, Knoxville, TN 37996, USA.


Larval zebrafish (Danio rerio) were exposed (96 h) to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) fluoxetine and sertraline and changes in transcriptomes analyzed by Affymetrix GeneChip Zebrafish Array were evaluated to enhance understanding of biochemical pathways and differences between these SSRIs. The number of genes differentially expressed after fluoxetine exposure was 288 at 25 μg/L and 131 at 250 μg/L; and after sertraline exposure was 33 at 25 μg/L and 52 at 250 μg/L. Same five genes were differentially regulated in both SSRIs indicating shared molecular pathways. Among these, the gene coding for FK506 binding protein 5, annotated to stress response regulation, was highly down-regulated in all treatments (results confirmed by qRT-PCR). Gene ontology analysis indicated at the gene expression level that regulation of stress response and cholinesterase activities were influenced by these SSRIs, and suggested that changes in transcription of these genes could be used as biomarkers of SSRI exposure.

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