, Volume 23, Issue 9, pp 1744–1754 | Cite as

Comparison of the sensitivity of seven marine and freshwater bioassays as regards antidepressant toxicity assessment

  • Laetitia MinguezEmail author
  • Carole Di Poi
  • Emilie Farcy
  • Céline Ballandonne
  • Amira Benchouala
  • Clément Bojic
  • Carole Cossu-Leguille
  • Katherine Costil
  • Antoine Serpentini
  • Jean-Marc Lebel
  • Marie-Pierre Halm-Lemeille


The hazards linked to pharmaceutical residues like antidepressants are currently a major concern of ecotoxicology because they may have adverse effects on non-target aquatic organisms. Our study assesses the ecotoxicity of three antidepressants (fluoxetine, sertraline and clomipramine) using a battery of marine and freshwater species representing different trophic levels, and compares the bioassay sensitivity levels. We selected the following bioassays: the algal growth inhibition test (Skeletonema marinoi and Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata), the microcrustacean immobilization test (Artemia salina and Daphnia magna), development and adult survival tests on Hydra attenuata, embryotoxicity and metamorphosis tests on Crassostrea gigas, and in vitro assays on primary cultures of Haliotis tuberculata hemocytes. The results showed high inter-species variability in EC50-values ranging from 43 to 15,600 µg/L for fluoxetine, from 67 to 4,400 µg/L for sertraline, and from 4.70 µg/L to more than 100,000 µg/L for clomipramine. Algae (S. marinoi and P. subcapitata) and the embryo–larval stages of the oyster C. gigas were the most sensitive taxa. This raises an issue due to their ecological and/or economic importance. The marine crustacean A. salina was the least sensitive species. This difference in sensitivity between bioassays highlights the importance of using a test battery.


Antidepressant Test battery Marine ecotoxicity Freshwater ecotoxicity Sensitivity comparison 



This work is a contribution to the Pharm@Ecotox Project funded by the French National Research Agency (ANR, fr: Agence Nationale de la Recherche). The authors thank the technical staff of the Centre de Recherche en Environnement Côtier (Luc-sur-Mer, Basse-Normandie) for their assistance in animal care, and the staff of the SATMAR (Société ATlantique de MARiculture) hatchery (Barfleur, France) for providing pediveliger larvae. We are grateful to Annie Buchwalter for English language editing and we wish to thank the anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laetitia Minguez
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Carole Di Poi
    • 1
  • Emilie Farcy
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  • Céline Ballandonne
    • 2
  • Amira Benchouala
    • 3
  • Clément Bojic
    • 3
  • Carole Cossu-Leguille
    • 3
  • Katherine Costil
    • 1
  • Antoine Serpentini
    • 1
  • Jean-Marc Lebel
    • 1
  • Marie-Pierre Halm-Lemeille
    • 2
  1. 1.UMR BOREA (Biologie des ORganismes et Ecosystèmes Aquatiques), CNRS-7208/MNHN/UPMC/IRD-207/UCBNCaen CedexFrance
  2. 2.CERMN, UFR des Sciences Pharmaceutiques, UPRES EA4258-FR CNRS INC3M–SF 4206 ICOREUniversité de Caen Basse-NormandieCaen CedexFrance
  3. 3.CNRS UMR 7360, Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire des Environnements Continentaux (LIEC)Université de LorraineMetzFrance
  4. 4.Laboratoire Ecologie des Systèmes Marins Côtiers (ECOSYM)Université de Montpellier 2, UMR 5119MontpellierFrance

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