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Behavior and histopathology as biomarkers for evaluation of the effects of paracetamol and propranolol in the neotropical fish species Phalloceros harpagos

  • Gregorio Nolazco Matus
  • Beatriz V. R. Pereira
  • Elaine C. M. Silva-Zacarin
  • Monica Jones Costa
  • André Cordeiro Alves dos Santos
  • Bruno Nunes
Research Article

Abstract

Pharmaceutical drugs in the aquatic environment can induce adverse effects on nontarget organisms. This study aimed to assess the short-term effects of sublethal concentrations of both paracetamol and propranolol on the fish Phalloceros harpagos, specifically light/dark preference, swimming patterns, skin pigmentation, histopathology, and liver glycogen levels. Fish were acutely exposed to sublethal concentrations of both paracetamol (0.008, 0.08, 0.8, 8, 80 mg L−1) and propranolol (0.0001, 0.001, 0.01, 0.1, 1 mg L−1) under controlled conditions. For scototaxis, a significant preference for the dark compartment was observed for the group exposed to the highest concentration of paracetamol (80 mg L−1). Propranolol exposure significantly altered the swimming pattern, especially in fish exposed to the 0.001 mg L−1 concentration. Pigmentation was reduced in propranolol-exposed fish (0.1, 1 mg L−1). The lowest concentration of propranolol (0.0001 mg L−1) induced a decrease of histochemical reaction for hepatic glycogen. These data demonstrate that pharmaceuticals can induce sublethal effects in nontarget organisms, even at low concentrations, compromising specific functions of the individual with ecological relevance, such as energy balance and behavior.

Keywords

Guaru Pharmaceuticals Tropical areas Freshwater Liver histopathology Hepatic glycogen Acute toxicity 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank the LAMA from the Department of Biology in UFSCar for the infrastructural support for bioassays and Osmar Malaspina from UNESP/Rio Claro for infrastructural support in relation to microtomy of fish livers for histological analysis.

Funding information

Bruno Nunes was hired under the program Investigador FCT, co-funded by the Human Potential Operational Program (National Strategic Reference Framework 2007–2013) and European Social Fund (EU). Thanks are due to the program Pesquisador Visitante Especial, financed by Fundação Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES), Brazil, with the project entitled “Avaliação dos efeitos ecotoxicológicos de drogas terapêuticas com relevância ambiental em espécies de peixes autóctones brasileiros: uso de biomarcadores de stress oxidativo” (2014–2017).

Supplementary material

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11356_2018_2839_MOESM2_ESM.docx (37 kb)
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gregorio Nolazco Matus
    • 1
  • Beatriz V. R. Pereira
    • 1
  • Elaine C. M. Silva-Zacarin
    • 1
    • 2
  • Monica Jones Costa
    • 1
    • 2
  • André Cordeiro Alves dos Santos
    • 2
  • Bruno Nunes
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Pós-Graduação em Biotecnologia e Monitoramento Ambiental (PPGBMA)Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCar)SorocabaBrazil
  2. 2.Departamento de BiologiaUniversidade Federal de São CarlosSorocabaBrazil
  3. 3.Departamento de BiologiaUniversidade de AveiroAveiroPortugal
  4. 4.Centro de Estudos do Ambiente e do Mar (CESAM, Laboratório Associado)Universidade de AveiroAveiroPortugal

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