The Effects of Sertraline on Fathead Minnow (Pimephales promelas) Growth and Steroidogenesis

  • D. R. CartyEmail author
  • D. Hala
  • D. B. Huggett


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the steroidogenic effects of sertraline, a popular selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, on larval fathead minnow (FHM; Pimephales promelas) and adult FHM. Larvae were exposed to 0.1, 1, and 10 µg/L sertraline for 28 days and analyzed for differential mRNA expression of 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (11β-HSD), 20β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (20β-HSD), aromatase (CYP19a), nuclear thyroid receptor alpha (TRα), and normalized to RP-L8. Adult FHM were exposed to 3 or 10 µg/L sertraline for 7 days and analyzed for differential expression of the same genes with the addition of thyroid receptor beta (TRβ). Larval FHM exposed to 0.1 μg/L had a significant upregulation of both 20β-HSD and TRα while adult FHM exposed to 10 µg/L had a significant upregulation of 11β-HSD expression in brain tissue. The significance of these findings with respect to survival, growth and reproduction are currently unknown, but represent areas for future research.


Pharmaceuticals Fathead minnow Endocrine disruption 



We would like to thank William Baylor Steele IV for his tremendous technical assistance and Hagar Mohamed for supplying adult FHM brain and ovary tissue.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biology, Institute of Applied SciencesUniversity of North TexasDentonUSA

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