Navigation Links
Mood-modifying drugs for humans also alter fish behavior
Date:2/14/2013

This release is available in Arabic, French, Japanese, Spanish, Swedish, and Chinese.

Pharmaceutical drugs that end up in the world's waterways after being excreted, flushed and treated at wastewater treatment plants may lead to unexpected ecological impacts, according to a new study of wild European perch. Tomas Brodin and colleagues from Ume University in Sweden discovered that the fish ate faster, became bolder and acted less social after being subjected to an anxiety-moderating drug, known as Oxazepam.

The psychiatric drug is used to treat anxiety in humans. But, Oxazepam residues often wind up in natural aquatic systems, downstream from sewage treatment plants, where their effects on ecosystems have been unknown. Now, Brodin and the other researchers have dosed wild perch with amounts of Oxazepam equivalent to those found in Sweden's rivers and streams, and their results suggest that even small amounts of the drug can alter the behavior and the foraging rates of these fish.

The related report appears in the 15 February issue of the journal Science, which is published by AAAS, the nonprofit science society.

"While alone, fish that were exposed to Oxazepam dared to leave safe refuge and enter novel, potentially dangerous areas," explained Brodin. "In contrast, unexposed fish stayed hidden in their refuge. The exposed fish seemed much less stressed and scared, behaving calmer and bolder."

Perch that were exposed to the drug also devoured their food quicker than unexposed fisha behavioral quirk that the researchers say could alter the composition of species in the water and lead to ecological events, such as increased algal blooming, over time. Since fish are generally integral pieces of their food webs, changes in their eating patterns could disturb ecological balances, according to the researchers.

The fish that were given Oxazepam during the study also became anti-social, distancing themselves from other perch and putting themselves at greater risk of predation. "Perch that were exposed to Oxazepam lost interest in hanging out with the group, and some even stayed as far away from the group as possible," explained Brodin.

The fish in the study accumulated concentrations of the drug in their muscle tissues that were comparable to those found in wild fish, according to the researchers. So it's likely that the fish in Sweden's surface waters, many of which are being exposed to similarly diluted doses of Oxazepam, may be experiencing changes in their behavior and feeding rates as well, they say.

This study by Brodin and his colleagues singled out a particular psychiatric drug that has been found in natural systems. But, a veritable cocktail of drugs can be found in waterways worldwide, making the discovery of Oxazepam's effects on fish that much more important.

More comprehensive studies are needed before general conclusions can be drawn about how such pharmaceutically induced changes to behavior might affect ecosystems, but these current findings suggest that the concentrations of Oxazepam in Sweden's surface waters could have unexpected ecological and evolutionary consequences over time.

"The solution to this problem isn't to stop medicating people who are ill but to try to develop sewage treatment plants that can capture environmentally hazardous drugs," concluded Jerker Fick, a co-author of the Science report, in a press release from Ume University.


'/>"/>

Contact: Natasha Pinol
npinol@aaas.org
202-326-6440
American Association for the Advancement of Science
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Newly released FDA draft guidelines for biosimilar drugs to be discussed at conference
2. Nanopills release drugs directly from the inside of cells
3. Genetic variation in East Asians found to explain resistance to cancer drugs
4. Discovery provides blueprint for new drugs that can inhibit hepatitis C virus
5. Internet and new drugs: A challenge for public health
6. Study raises questions about use of anti-epilepsy drugs in newborns
7. Drugs from lizard saliva reduces the cravings for food
8. A new method detects traces of veterinary drugs in baby food
9. La Jolla Institute discovery could lead to new way to screen drugs for adverse reactions
10. MIT-designed cooler preserves tuberculosis drugs, records doses
11. Arsenic for better drugs and cleaner crops
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Mood-modifying drugs for humans also alter fish behavior
(Date:2/2/2017)... JACKSONVILLE, Fla. , Feb. 2, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... ), a clinical-stage immuno-oncology company specializing in the ... vaccines for the treatment of cancer and metastatic ... multi-gram scale-up and GMP manufacturing of a second ... T-cell vaccine targeting folate receptor alpha. The manufactured ...
(Date:2/2/2017)... , Feb. 1, 2017  Central to its ... meaningful advances worldwide, The Japan Prize Foundation today ... who have pushed the envelope in their respective ... Communication. Three scientists are being recognized with the ... that not only contribute to the advancement of ...
(Date:1/31/2017)... Jan. 31, 2017  Spero Therapeutics, LLC, a ... the treatment of bacterial infections, today announced it ... candidates from Pro Bono Bio Ltd (PBB) to ... multi-drug resistant forms of Gram-negative bacteria.   The assets ... Ltd, a PBB group company. "The ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/16/2017)... HACKENSACK, N.J. , Feb. 16, 2017  Champions ... engaged in the development and sale of advanced technology ... of oncology drugs, today announced the addition of new ... These new models will expand Champions, product ... cancer, head and neck cancer, AML, and non-small cell ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... and NEW YORK , Feb. 16, ... completion of their $7M Series B financing, adding an ... the $3.5M led by Mesa Verde Venture Partners and ... resources will be directed towards further accelerating commercial adoption ... comprehensive genomic profiling test and expanding the Paradigm cancer ...
(Date:2/15/2017)... , 15. Februar 2017  Trianni, Inc. ... Biotech, Inc. (Janssen) eine Lizenzvereinbarung über die Verwendung ... Klasse führenden Plattform für die Entdeckung monoklonaler Antikörper. ... ihr neuartiges chimäres Gensegmentdesign aus, das Janssen ... humanen Antikörpern bietet und das für die schelle ...
(Date:2/15/2017)... -- Windtree Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: WINT ), ... therapies for respiratory diseases, will host a conference call ... EST on Thursday, February 16, 2017 to provide updates ... announced closing of a $10.5 million private offering and ... in the live call and take part in the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: