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Recent ecotoxicological studies highlight the increasing presence of pharmaceuticals discharged in the aquatic environment. Amongst them is the antidepressant fluoxetine (FLX), a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, primarily indicated for treatment of depression. The effect of chronic exposure to FLX on memory processing in 1-month-old cuttlefish Sepia officinalis was evaluated. Three groups of new-borns were reared in different conditions: one control group (no FLX) and two groups exposed to environmental concentrations of FLX (1 and 100ng/L) from 15 days pre-hatching to 1 month post-hatching. Acquisition and retention performances were assessed using the 'prawn-in-the-tube' procedure. Perinatal exposure to fluoxetine led to significant changes in memory processing of the animals. The lowest observed effect concentration of this antidepressant on learning and retention was 1ng/L which is under the range of environmental contamination. Cuttlefish exposed at low FLX concentration had impaired acquisition capabilities and animals exposed at high FLX concentration displayed a deficit of memory retention compared to the control group that had nonimpaired initial acquisition and retention performances. The results subsequently suggested that FLX-induced changes in cognitive capacities could potentially lead to inappropriate predatory behaviors in the natural environment. The study provides the basis for future studies on how pharmaceutical contaminants disrupt cognition in ecologically and economically relevant marine invertebrates. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Carole Di Poi, Anne-Sophie Darmaillacq, Ludovic Dickel, Michel Boulouard, Cécile Bellanger. Effects of perinatal exposure to waterborne fluoxetine on memory processing in the cuttlefish Sepia officinalis. Aquatic toxicology (Amsterdam, Netherlands). 2013 May 15;132-133:84-91

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PMID: 23474317

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