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Acute Effects of Tetracycline Exposure in the Freshwater Fish Gambusia holbrooki: Antioxidant Effects, Neurotoxicity and Histological Alterations

  • B. Nunes
  • S. C. Antunes
  • R. Gomes
  • J. C. Campos
  • M. R. Braga
  • A. S. Ramos
  • A. T. Correia
Article

Abstract

A large body of evidence was compiled in the recent decades showing a noteworthy increase in the detection of pharmaceutical drugs in aquatic ecosystems. Due to its ubiquitous presence, chemical nature, and practical purpose, this type of contaminant can exert toxic effects in nontarget organisms. Exposure to pharmaceutical drugs can result in adaptive alterations, such as changes in tissues, or in key homeostatic mechanisms, such as antioxidant mechanisms, biochemical/physiological pathways, and cellular damage. These alterations can be monitored to determine the impact of these compounds on exposed aquatic organisms. Among pharmaceutical drugs in the environment, antibiotics are particularly important because they include a variety of substances widely used in medical and veterinary practice, livestock production, and aquaculture. This wide use constitutes a decisive factor contributing for their frequent detection in the aquatic environment. Tetracyclines are the individual antibiotic subclass with the second highest frequency of detection in environmental matrices. The characterization of the potential ecotoxicological effects of tetracycline is a much-required task; to attain this objective, the present study assessed the acute toxic effects of tetracycline in the freshwater fish species Gambusia holbrooki by the determination of histological changes in the gills and liver, changes in antioxidant defense [glutathione S-transferase (GST), catalase (CAT), and lipoperoxidative damage] as well as potential neurotoxicity (acetylcholinesterase activity). The obtained results suggest the existence of a cause-and-effect relationship between the exposure to tetracycline and histological alterations (more specifically in gills) and enzymatic activity (particularly the enzyme CAT in liver and GST in gills) indicating that this compound can exert a pro-oxidative activity.

Keywords

Tetracycline Tacrine Gill Tissue Pharmaceutical Drug Histological Alteration 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

This research was supported by the European Regional Development Fund through the COMPETE—Operational Competitiveness Program and by national funds through the Foundation for Science and Technology under the projects PEst-C/MAR/LA0015/2013 and PTDC/AMB/70431/2006.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 12 kb)
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Supplementary material 2 (PNG 647 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Nunes
    • 1
    • 5
  • S. C. Antunes
    • 4
    • 5
  • R. Gomes
    • 3
  • J. C. Campos
    • 3
  • M. R. Braga
    • 3
  • A. S. Ramos
    • 4
  • A. T. Correia
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Departamento de BiologiaUniversidade de Aveiro, Campus Universitário de SantiagoAveiroPortugal
  2. 2.Centro Interdisciplinar de Investigação Marinha e Ambiental (CIIMAR/CIMAR)PortoPortugal
  3. 3.Faculdade de Ciências da SaúdeUniversidade Fernando Pessoa (UFP)PortoPortugal
  4. 4.Faculdade de CiênciasUniversidade do Porto (FCUP)PortoPortugal
  5. 5.Centro de Estudos do Ambiente e do MarUniversidade de Aveiro, Campus Universitário de SantiagoAveiroPortugal

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