The SSRI fluoxetine exhibits mild effects on the reproductive axis in the cichlid fish Cichlasoma dimerus (Teleostei, Cichliformes).

PMID 28030789


Among the wide variety of pharmaceuticals released into the environment, Fluoxetine (FLX), a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, is one of the most prescribed for the treatment of major depression. It inhibits serotonin (5-HT) reuptake at the presinaptic membrane, increasing serotonergic activity. In vertebrates, including fish, the serotonergic system is closely related to the Hypothalamic Pituitary Gonadal (HPG) axis which regulates reproduction. As FLX can act as an endocrine disrupting compound (EDC) by affecting several reproductive parameters in fish, the aim of this study was to provide an integral assessment of the potential effect of FLX on the reproductive axis of the Neotropical freshwater fish Cichlasoma dimerus. Adult fish were intraperitoneally injected with 2xa0μgxa0g(-1) FLX or saline every third day for 15 days. No significant differences were found on serotonergic turnover (5-HIAA/5-HT ratio). Pituitary βLH content in FLX injected females was significantly higher than control females; no significant differences were seen for βFSH content. Sex steroids remained unaltered, both in males and females fish, after FLX treatment. No plasma vitellogenin was induced in treated males. Some alterations were seen in testes of FLX injected males, such as the presence of foam cells and an acidophilic PAS positive, Alcian-Blue negative secretion in the lobular lumen. Although there is no clear consensus about the effect of this drug on reproductive physiology, these results indicate that FLX is acting as a mild EDC in adults of C.xa0dimerus.