The biological effects of antidepressants on the molluscs and crustaceans: a review

Peter P. Fong, Alex T. Ford

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Abstract

Antidepressants are among the most commonly detected human pharmaceuticals in the aquatic environment. Since their mode of action is by modulating the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, aquatic invertebrates who possess transporters and receptors sensitive to activation by these pharmaceuticals are potentially affected by them. We review the various types of antidepressants, their occurrence and concentrations in aquatic environments, and the actions of neurohormones modulated by antidepressants in molluscs and crustaceans. Recent studies on the effects of antidepressants on these two important groups show that molluscan reproductive and locomotory systems are affected by antidepressants at environmentally relevant concentrations. In particular, antidepressants affect spawning and larval release in bivalves and disrupt locomotion and reduce fecundity in snails. In crustaceans, antidepressants affect freshwater amphipod activity patterns, marine amphipod photo- and geotactic behavior, crayfish aggression, and daphnid reproduction and development. We note with interest the occurrence of non-monotonic dose responses curves in many studies on effects of antidepressants on aquatic animals, often with effects at low concentrations, but not at higher concentrations, and we suggest future experiments consider testing a broader range of concentrations. Furthermore, we consider invertebrate immune responses, genomic and transcriptomic sequencing of invertebrate genes, and the ever-present and overwhelming question of how contaminant mixtures could affect the action of neurohormones as topics for future study. In addressing the question, if antidepressants affect aquatic invertebrates at concentrations currently found in the environment, there is strong evidence to suggest the answer is yes. Furthermore, the examples highlighted in this review provide compelling evidence that the effects could be quite multifaceted across a variety of biological systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-13
JournalAquatic Toxicology
Volume151
Early online date11 Dec 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014

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