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Effects of Single and Combined Low Concentrations of Neuroactive Drugs on Daphnia magna Reproduction and Transcriptomic Responses

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posted on 2019-09-30, 20:14 authored by Inmaculada Fuertes, Bruno Campos, Claudia Rivetti, Benjamín Piña, Carlos Barata
Assessing the risk of neuroactive pharmaceuticals in the environment requires an understanding of their joint effects at low concentrations across species. Here, we assessed reproductive and transcriptional effects of single and ternary equi-effective mixture exposure to propranolol, diazepam, and carbamazepine on the crustacean Daphnia magna at environmentally relevant concentrations. The three compounds enhanced reproduction in adults and induced specific transcriptome changes in preadolescent individuals. Comparison of the results from single exposures to a ternary equi-effective mixture of the three compounds showed additive action. Transcriptomic analyses identified 3248 genes affected by at least one of the treatments, which were grouped into four clusters. Two clusters (1897 gene transcripts in total) behaved similarly, appearing either over- or under-represented relative to control, in all single and mixture treatments. The third and fourth clusters grouped genes differently transcribed upon exposure to diazepam and propranolol, respectively. Functional transcriptomics analysis indicated that the four clusters shared major deregulated signaling pathways implicated on energy, growth, reproduction, and neurologically related processes, which may be responsible for the observed reproductive effects. Thus, our study showed additive effects at the transcriptional and physiological level and provides a novel approach to the analysis of environmentally relevant mixtures of neuroactive compounds.