Reproduction recovery of the crustacean Daphnia magna after chronic exposure to ibuprofen

Yuya Hayashi, Lars-Henrik Heckmann, Amanda Callaghan, Richard Sibly

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In mammals, the pharmaceutical ibuprofen (IB), a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, primarily functions by reversibly inhibiting the cyclooxygenase (COX) pathway in the synthesis of eicosanoids (e.g. prostaglandins). Previous studies suggest that IB may act in a similar manner to interrupt production of eicosanoids reducing reproduction in the model crustacean Daphnia magna. On this basis withdrawal of IB should lead to the recovery of D. magna reproduction. Here we test whether the effect of IB is reversible in D. magna, as it is in mammals, by observing reproduction recovery following chronic exposure. D. magna (5-days old) were exposed to a range of IB concentrations (0, 20, 40 and 80 mg L-1) for 10 days followed by a 10 day recovery period in uncontaminated water. During the exposure period, individuals exposed to higher concentrations produced significantly fewer offspring. Thereafter, IB-stressed individuals produced offspring faster during recovery, having similar average population growth rates (PGR) (1.15-1.28) to controls by the end of the test. It appears that maternal daphnids are susceptible to IB during egg maturation. This is the first recorded recovery of reproduction in aquatic invertebrates that suffered reproductive inhibition during chronic exposure to a chemical stressor. Our results suggest a possible theory behind the compensatory fecundity that we referred to as 'catch-up reproduction'.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-51
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


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