The effects of fluoxetine on attachment and righting behaviours in marine (Gibbula unbilicalis) and freshwater (Lymnea stagnalis) gastropods

Alex T. Ford, Bernice Hyett, Daniel Cassidy, Graham Malyon

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Recent studies have highlighted that antidepressants such as the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) entering aquatic systems through wastewater discharges might impact organisms at environmentally relevant concentrations. In this study, two snail species (Gibbula unbilicalis and Lymnea stagnalis) representing the marine and freshwater environments were exposed to a large range of fluoxetine concentrations (1 ng L−1—1 mg L−1) and two distinct behaviours (foot detachment and righting time) were recorded. Fluoxetine significantly caused foot detachment only at the higher of the concentrations (1 mg L−1) in both species during the course of this short term 1.5 h and 4 h exposures. In this study, lowest observed effect concentrations (LOECs) for foot detachment fell repeatedly within the range for other gastropod snails exposed to fluoxetine. Fluoxetine effected righting times in a concentration dependant manner but only significantly within G. unbilicalis in the highest concentration. Reviewing existing data on the effects of antidepressants on a range of endpoints in gastropod molluscs reveals wide variability of results. The importance of publishing ‘negative’ and/or non-dramatic results to aid risk assessment are discussed along with the variability between antidepressants, model species, experimental designs and endpoints.
Original languageEnglish
Early online date9 Mar 2018
Publication statusEarly online - 9 Mar 2018


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