Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 9, pp 8592–8607 | Cite as

The exposure to water with cigarette residue changes the anti-predator response in female Swiss albino mice

  • Letícia Silva Cardoso
  • Fernanda Neves Estrela
  • Thales Quintão Chagas
  • Wellington Alves Mizael da Silva
  • Denys Ribeiro de Oliveira Costa
  • Igor Pereira
  • Boniek Gontijo Vaz
  • Aline Sueli de Lima Rodrigues
  • Guilherme MalafaiaEmail author
Research Article


Recent studies have shown that cigarette consumption affects much more than human health. Smoked cigarette butt (SCB) disposal into the environment can bring little-known negative biological consequences to mammals, since it contains many organic and inorganic toxic chemical constituents. Thus, we aim at assessing whether the ingestion of water with leached SCB for 60 days by female Swiss mice changes their defensive behavioral response to potential predators (cats and snakes). We worked with the following groups of animals: control (pollutant-free water), water with environmental concentration of SCB (1.9 μg/L of nicotine), and concentration 1000 times higher (EC1000×). Our data show that the treatments did not cause locomotor, visual, auditory, and olfactory deficit in the animals. However, we observed that the animals exposed to the pollutants did not present behavioral differences in the test session with or without the snake. On the other hand, animals in all groups showed defensive behavior when the test was conducted with the cat in the apparatus. However, female mice presented weaker response than the control. Thus, our data point towards the potential neurotoxic damage caused to mice who have ingested water with SCB residues, even at low concentrations.


Cigarette Animal behavior Aquatic pollution Mammals Anti-predator responses 



The authors are grateful to the Brazilian National Council for Research (CNPq) (Brazilian research agency) (Proc. No 467801/2014-2) and the Instituto Federal Goiano for the financial support. Moreover, the authors are grateful to the CNPq for supporting scholarship to the students who developed this study.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All the procedures were approved by The Ethics Committee on Animal Use of Goiano Federal Institute (Comissão de Ética no Uso de Animais do Instituto Federal Goiano), GO, Brazil (protocol No. 6181130516/2016). Meticulous efforts were made to assure that the animals suffered the least possible and to reduce external sources of stress, pain, and discomfort. The current study did not exceed the number of animals necessary to produce trustworthy scientific data. This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Letícia Silva Cardoso
    • 1
  • Fernanda Neves Estrela
    • 1
  • Thales Quintão Chagas
    • 1
  • Wellington Alves Mizael da Silva
    • 2
  • Denys Ribeiro de Oliveira Costa
    • 3
  • Igor Pereira
    • 3
  • Boniek Gontijo Vaz
    • 3
  • Aline Sueli de Lima Rodrigues
    • 2
  • Guilherme Malafaia
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Biological Research LaboratoryGoiano Federal Institute—Urutá CamposUrutáBrazil
  2. 2.Post-Graduation Program in Cerrado Natural Resource Conservation and Biological Research LaboratoryGoiano Federal Institution—Urutaí CampusUrutaíBrazil
  3. 3.Post-Graduation Program in ChemistryGoiás Federal University—Samambaia CampusGoiâniaBrazil
  4. 4.Laboratório de Pesquisas BiológicasInstituto Federal Goiano—Campus UrutaíUrutaíBrazil

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