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WATER RESOURCES RESEARCH GRANT PROPOSAL

Project ID:2006NC61B

Title:: Endocrine and Reproductive Effects of the Pharmaceutical Fluoxetine on Native Freshwater Mussels: Proximity to Measured Environmental Concentrations

Project Type: Research

Start Date: 03/01/2006

End Date: 02/28/2007

Congressional District: 2

Focus Categories: Toxic Substances, Water Quality, Surface Water

Keywords: Unionid Mussel, Endocrine Disruptor, Pharmaceutical, Toxic Substances, Pollutants

Principal Investigators: Cope, W. Gregory; Bringolf, Robert B.; Heltsley, Rebecca M.; Shea, Damian

Federal Funds: $ 13,840

Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 27,681

Abstract: This proposal is for renewal / continuation of the project by the same title funded in the 2005-2006 WRRI funding cycle. The results from the original research grant have yielded such significant, high profile outcomes and observations that an urgent need exists to add an additional task (objective) to the original proposed work. Moreover, the student involvement portion of the original grant was so successful that the individual chosen to train on the study has applied to, and been admitted to, the Master of Science Graduate Program in Environmental and Molecular Toxicology at NC State. Therefore, a portion of the requested funds in this proposal will be dedicated to her stipend, tuition, and fees to allow her to continue to work on this research topic. The original proposal addressed the widespread occurrence of fluoxetine and other pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) in surface waters, which constitute an emerging class of contaminants with important human and environmental health implications. Fluoxetine is the active ingredient in the prescription anti-depressant drug ProzacTM that acts as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) to increase serotonin levels at nerve synapses. Serotonin (5-hydroxytrypamine; 5-HT) is an important neurotransmitter in vertebrate and invertebrate systems. The aim of the original study was to assess whether low, environmentally relevant concentrations of fluoxetine would induce parturition (or spontaneous abortion) in gravid female adult eastern elliptio (Elliptio complanata) mussels after a short-term (96-h) exposure. Prior to our original work funded by WRRI, there was limited evidence that fluoxetine and other SSRIs may exert reproductive effects on bivalves similar to serotonin, making environmental exposures from this class of pharmaceuticals to native freshwater mussels and other aquatic biota through discharge of pharmacologically active compound in treated wastewater to surface waters an imminent concern. Our results showing that fluoxetine does indeed cause the pre-mature release of non-viable larvae (glochidia) in native freshwater mussels in < 48 h of exposure have confirmed that occurrence and biological pathway. The new task proposed herein aims to assess the effects of fluoxetine on mussel mantle flap display behavior, a potentially more sensitive and equally critical step in the reproductive success of select mussel species.

Progress/Completion Report, PDF


U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
URL: http://water.usgs.gov/wrri/06grants/2006NC61B.html
Maintained by: John Schefter
Last Updated: Thursday, May 28, 2009
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