Embryonic development, locomotor behavior, biochemical, and epigenetic effects of the pharmaceutical drugs paracetamol and ciprofloxacin in larvae and embryos of Danio rerio when exposed to environmental realistic levels of both drugs


For several years, the scientific community has been concerned about the presence of pharmaceuticals in the wild, since these compounds may have unpredictable deleterious effects on living organisms. Two examples of widely used pharmaceuticals that are present in the environment are paracetamol and ciprofloxacin. Despite their common presence in the aquatic environment due to their poor removal by sewage treatment plants, knowledge concerning their putative toxic effects is still scarce. This work aimed to characterize the effects of paracetamol (0.005, 0.025, 0.125, 0.625, and 3.125 mg/L) and ciprofloxacin (0.005, 0.013, 0.031, 0.078, 0.195, and 0.488 μg/L) in zebrafish embryos and larvae, exposed to environmentally relevant levels, close to the real concentrations of these pharmaceuticals in surface waters and effluents. The adopted toxic end points were developmental, a behavioral parameter (total swimming time), and a biomarker‐based approach (quantification of the activities of catalase, glutathione‐S‐transferase, cholinesterases, glutathione peroxidase, and lipid peroxidation levels) combined with epigenetic analysis (immunohistochemical detection of 5‐methylcytidine). Exposure to paracetamol had effects on all of the adopted toxic end points; however, ciprofloxacin only caused effects on behavioral tests and alterations in biomarkers. It is possible to ascertain the occurrence of oxidative stress following exposure to both drugs, which was more evident regarding paracetamol, an effect that may be related to the observed epigenetic modifications.


Link to the publication : https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/tox.22819