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The psychoactive drug Escitalopram affects swimming behaviour and increases boldness in zebrafish (Danio rerio)

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DOI

  • Sebastian V. Nielsen
  • ,
  • Martin Kellner, Sodertorn Univ, Sodertorn University, Sch Nat Sci Technol & Environm Studies
  • ,
  • Per G. Henriksen
  • Hakan Olsen, Sodertorn Univ, Sodertorn University, Sch Nat Sci Technol & Environm Studies
  • ,
  • Steen H. Hansen, Københavns Universitet
  • ,
  • Erik Baatrup

Selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors are pharmaceuticals used to treat a range of psychological disorders. They are frequently found in surface waters in populated areas. In recent years, they have been shown to affect the behaviour of various aquatic organisms in a way that can have ecological effects. In this study, we exposed zebrafish of both sexes to nominally 0.00, 0.15 and 1.50 A mu g L-1 Escitalopram in flow-through tanks for three weeks. Subsequently, ten swimming behaviour parameters were quantified using high-resolution video tracking. There were noticeable gender differences in the behaviour responses to Escitalopram. Female fish exposed to 1.50 A mu g L-1 Escitalopram had a lower maximum swimming velocity, stopped less often and exhibited increased boldness (reduced thigmotaxis) compared to controls. Male fish exposed to 1.50 A mu g L-1 had a lower maximum swimming velocity compared to control fish. At the end of exposures, both length and weight of the females exposed to 1.50 A mu g L-1 Escitalopram were significantly less than the group of control fish. In addition, males exposed to 1.50 A mu g L-1 Escitalopram were significantly shorter than control fish. The behaviour, weight and body length of the fish exposed to nominally 0.15 A mu g L-1 was not significantly different from control fish in either sex. The results of this study demonstrate that Escitalopram can affect subtle but ecologically important aspects of fish behaviour and lends further credibility to the assumption that Escitalopram is an environmentally active pharmaceutical.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftEcotoxicology
Vol/bind27
Nummer4
Sider (fra-til)485-497
Antal sider13
ISSN0963-9292
DOI
StatusUdgivet - maj 2018

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