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Sci Total Environ. 2019 May 10;664:89-98. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.01.300. Epub 2019 Jan 24.

Behavioral profile alterations in zebrafish larvae exposed to environmentally relevant concentrations of eight priority pharmaceuticals.

Author information

1
Department of Ecosystem Analysis, ABBt - Aachen Biology and Biotechnology, Institute for Environmental Research, RWTH Aachen University, 52074 Aachen, Germany. Electronic address: shangbo.zhou@bio5.rwth-aachen.de.
2
State Key Laboratory of Estuarine and Coastal Research, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China.
3
Shell Health, Shell International B.V., Carel van Bylandtlaan 23, 2596 HP The Hague, the Netherlands.
4
Department of Ecosystem Analysis, ABBt - Aachen Biology and Biotechnology, Institute for Environmental Research, RWTH Aachen University, 52074 Aachen, Germany.
5
Department of Ecosystem Analysis, ABBt - Aachen Biology and Biotechnology, Institute for Environmental Research, RWTH Aachen University, 52074 Aachen, Germany; College of Resources and Environmental Science, Chongqing University, Chongqing 400044, China; College of Environmental Science and Engineering, State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Reuse, Tongji University, 1239 Siping Road, Shanghai, China; State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Reuse, School of the Environment, Nanjing University, China.
6
Department of Ecosystem Analysis, ABBt - Aachen Biology and Biotechnology, Institute for Environmental Research, RWTH Aachen University, 52074 Aachen, Germany. Electronic address: seiler@bio5.rwth-aachen.de.

Abstract

Although the effects of pharmaceuticals on aquatic organisms have been widely investigated during the last decades, toxic effects, especially delayed toxicity, during the developmental stage at environmental relevant concentrations were rarely known. In this study, a sensitive assay based on behavioral alterations was used for studying the delayed toxicity during the developmental stage on zebrafish embryos. Eight pharmaceuticals that were frequently detected with concentrations ranging from ng/l to μg/l were screened for this study. Behavioral alterations of zebrafish at 118 hpf (hours post fertilization) after exposing to eight single pharmaceuticals with concentrations in the ranges of environmental detected and their mixtures during embryonic development (2-50 h post fertilization, hpf) were observed. Multiple endpoints, including mortality, hatching rate, swimming speed and angular velocity were evaluated. Results showed that behavioral profile alterations in zebrafish larvae are promising for predicting delayed sublethal effects of chemicals. Delayed hatch was observed at 72 hpf following embryonic exposure to triclosan (1 μg/l) and carbamazepine (100 μg/l) up to 50 hpf. The zebrafish larval locomotor behavior following embryonic exposure to 0.1 μg/l triclosan and 1 μg/l caffeine in the early stages of development (2-50 hpf) was altered. Furthermore, the effects of the mixture of 8 pharmaceuticals each with the highest environmental concentration on larval behavior were observed during embryonic development. Generally, this study showed that the effects of pharmaceuticals singly or their mixtures in surface waters cannot be ignored.

KEYWORDS:

Locomotion alterations; Mixture toxicity; Triclosan; Zebrafish behavior; Zebrafish development

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