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Long-term Exposure To The Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drug (NSAID) Naproxen Causes Thyroid Disruption In Zebrafish At Environmentally Relevant Concentrations.

Chao Xu, Lili Niu, Hangqin Guo, Xiaohui Sun, Lihui Chen, W. Tu, Qizhou Dai, Jing Ye, Weiping Liu, Jinsong Liu
Published 2019 · Medicine, Chemistry

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The presence of trace levels of pharmaceuticals is an emerging issue impacting the aquatic ecosystem. Naproxen (NPX) is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that has been frequently detected in aquatic environments worldwide. Recently, concerns regarding endocrine disruption by NSAIDs have increased; however, their effects on the thyroid system have yet to be understood. In this study, zebrafish were utilized to evaluate the thyroid-disrupting effects of NPX. After a 60-day exposure to various concentrations of NPX (0.1, 1, 10 and 100 μg/L), the body length and weight of the zebrafish were significantly decreased. The decrease of cytochrome P450 gene expression and enzyme activity might inhibit the metabolism of NPX, which might result in the significant bioconcentration in zebrafish. Thyroid hormone (TH) analysis showed that both triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) levels were substantially decreased. Gene transcription expressions along the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis were also markedly affected. Significant downregulation of dio1, dio2, nis, nkx2.1, pax8, tg, tpo, trβ and ttr levels, along with the stimulation of the tshβ gene, were also observed in exposed fish compared to controls. Western blot analysis indicated that expression of the TTR protein was significantly decreased, which coincides with the results of the gene expression analysis. Collectively, our observations show that NPX increases the risk of bioconcentration and thyroid disruption in zebrafish. Given the continued increasing consumption and emission of pharmaceuticals, thyroid disruption should be considered when assessing the aquatic risk of long-term exposure to environmentally relevant concentrations of pharmaceuticals.
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