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Research article2019Peer reviewed

Effects of antidepressants with different modes of action on early life stages of fish and amphibians

Sehonova, Pavia; Hodkovicova, Nikola; Urbanova, Monika; Orn, Stefan; Blahova, Jana; Svobodova, Zdenka; Faldyna, Martin; Chloupek, Petr; Briedikova, Kristina; Carlsson, Gunnar


Drugs are excreted from the human body as both original substances and as metabolites and enter aquatic environment through waste water. The aim of this study was to widen the current knowledge considering the effects of waterborne antidepressants with different modes of action-amitriptyline, venlafaxine, sertraline-on embryos of non-target aquatic biota-fish (represented by Danio rerio) and amphibians (represented by Xenopus tropicalis). The tested concentrations were 0.3; 3; 30; 300 and 3000 mu g/L. in case of amitriptyline and venlafaxine and 0.1; 1; 10; 100 and 1000 mu g/L for sertraline. Test on zebrafish embryos was carried out until 144 h post fertilization, while test on Xenopus embryos was terminated after 48 h. Lethal and sublethal effects as well as swimming alterations were observed at higher tested concentrations that are not present in the environment. In contrast, mRNA expression of genes related to heart, eye, brain and bone development (nkx2.5, otx 2, bmp4 and pax 6) seems to be impacted also at environmentally relevant concentrations. In a wider context, this study reveals several indications on the ability of antidepressants to affect non target animals occupying environments which may be contaminated by such compounds. (C) 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Danio rerio; Xenopus tropicalis; Amitriptyline; Venlafaxine; Sertraline

Published in

Environmental Pollution
2019, Volume: 254, number: Part A, article number: 112999

        SLU Authors

      • Sustainable Development Goals

        SDG6 Clean water and sanitation
        SDG14 Life below water

        UKÄ Subject classification

        Environmental Sciences

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