Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1016/j.envpol.2021.117096
Document author version
Title (Primary) Moxidectin toxicity to zebrafish embryos: Bioaccumulation and biomarker responses
Author Muniz, M.S.; Halbach, K.; Araruna, I.C.A.; Martins, R.X.; Seiwert, B.; Lechtenfeld, O.; Reemtsma, T.; Farias, D.
Journal Environmental Pollution
Year 2021
Department ANA
Volume 283
Page From art. 117096
Language englisch
Topic T9 Healthy Planet
Keywords Aquatic toxicology; Veterinary antiparasitics; Emerging pollutants; MALDI-MS imaging; Macrocyclic lactones
UFZ wide themes ProVIS;

Moxidectin is an antiparasitic drug belonging to the class of the macrocyclic lactones, subgroup mylbemicins. It is used worldwide in veterinary practice, but little is known about its potential environmental risks. Thus, we used the zebrafish embryo as a model system to study the potential effects of moxidectin on aquatic non-target organisms. The analyses were performed in two experimental sets: (1) acute toxicity and apical endpoints were characterized, with biomarker assays providing information on the activity levels of catalase (CAT), glutathione S-transferase (GST), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), and acetylcholinesterase (AChE); and (2) internal concentration and spatial distribution of moxidectin were determined using ultraperformance liquid chromatography quadrupole-time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UPLC-QToF-MS) and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-MS imaging (MALDI-MSi). The acute toxicity to zebrafish embryos (96 hpf) appeared mainly as a decrease in hatching rates (EC50 = 20.75 μg/L). It also altered the enzymatic activity of biomarker enzymes related to xenobiotic processing, anaerobic metabolism, and oxidative stress (GST, LDH, and CAT, respectively) and strongly accumulated in the embryos, as internal concentrations were 4 orders of magnitude higher than those detected in exposure solutions. MALDI-MSi revealed accumulations of the drug mainly in the head and eyes of the embryos (72 and 96 hpf). Thus, our results show that exposure to moxidectin decreases hatching success by 96 h and alters biochemical parameters in the early life stages of zebrafish while accumulating in the head and eye regions of the animals, demonstrating the need to prioritize this compound for environmental studies.


Persistent UFZ Identifier
Muniz, M.S., Halbach, K., Araruna, I.C.A., Martins, R.X., Seiwert, B., Lechtenfeld, O., Reemtsma, T., Farias, D. (2021):
Moxidectin toxicity to zebrafish embryos: Bioaccumulation and biomarker responses
Environ. Pollut. 283 , art. 117096