Environmental occurrence and reproductive effects of the pharmaceutical fluoxetine in native freshwater mussels



The present study measured the occurrence, distribution, and bioaccumulation of fluoxetine in samples of water, polar organic chemical integrative sampler (POCIS), sediment, and caged freshwater mussels at stream sites near a municipal wastewater treatment facility effluent discharge. We assessed the relation of the environmental concentrations to reproductive endpoints in mussels in acute laboratory tests. Concentrations of fluoxetine in water and POCIS samples were similar (<20% difference) within each site and were greatest in the effluent channel (104–119 ng/L), and decreased at 50 m and 100 m downstream. Likewise, concentrations of fluoxetine in sediment and mussel (Elliptio complanata) tissue were greatest in the effluent channel (17.4 ng/g wet wt for sediment and 79.1 ng/g wet wt for mussels). In 96-h lab tests, fluoxetine significantly induced parturition of nonviable larvae from female E. complanata exposed to 300 µg/L (p = 0.0118) and 3,000 µg/L (p < 0.0001) compared to controls. Fluoxetine exposure at 300 µg/L (p = 0.0075) and 3,000 µg/L (p = 0.0001) also resulted in stimulation of lure display behavior in female Lampsilis fasciola and Lampsilis cardium, respectively. In male E. complanata, 3,000 µg fluoxetine/L significantly induced release of spermatozeugmata during a 48-h exposure. These results suggest that fluoxetine accumulates in mussel tissue and has the potential to disrupt several aspects of reproduction in freshwater mussels, a faunal group recognized as one of the most imperiled in the world. Despite the disparity between measured environmental concentrations of fluoxetine and effects concentrations in our short-term tests with these long-lived animals, additional tests are warranted to evaluate the effects of long-term exposure to environmentally relevant concentrations and critical lifestages (e.g., juveniles). Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 2010;29:1311–1318. © 2010 SETAC