Parental gemfibrozil exposure impacts zebrafish F1 offspring, but not subsequent generations
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Gemfibrozil (GEM) is a fibrate lipid regulator and one of the most commonly occurring fresh water pharmaceuticals. The negative effects of fibrates including GEM on fish reproduction have been frequently reported including effects of F0 GEM exposure on reproduction of the unexposed F1 offspring. We predicted that chronic, direct exposure of zebrafish with low concentrations of GEM would adversely affect parental male reproduction and unexposed offspring for multiple generations. Adult zebrafish were exposed to 10 μg/L GEM for 6 weeks and a range of reproductive indices were analyzed. The F1-F4 offspring were reared in clean water from 3 distinct lineages where only a single or both parents were exposed and compared to a control lineage where parents were unexposed. Reproductive indices were examined in unexposed F1-F4 offspring to test the hypothesis of multi- or trans- generational impacts. Exposure to GEM caused a decline in breeding success and mean embryo production in F0 parents and a reduction in whole body 11-ketotestosterone (11-KT), altered male courtship, aggression and sperm morphology. Our results indicate that paternal exposure alone is sufficient to result in reproductive effects in unexposed male offspring but that effects are mostly limited to F1. We suggest that GEM may act as a reproductive endocrine disruptor in fish and that chronic exposure reduced male reproductive fitness but not over multiple generations.
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