Paternal Exposure to Carbamazepine Impacts Zebrafish Offspring Reproduction Over Multiple Generations Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Chronic low-concentration chemical exposures may have both direct health outcomes on adults and indirect effects on their offspring. Using zebrafish, we examined the impacts of chronic, low-concentration carbamazepine (CBZ) exposure on a suite of male reproductive endpoints in the parents and four generations of offspring reared in clean water. CBZ is one of the most frequently detected pharmaceutical residues in water, is a histone deacetylase inhibitor in mammals, and is reported to lower androgens in mammals and fish. Exposure of adult zebrafish to 10 μg/L CBZ for 6 weeks decreased reproductive output, courtship and aggressive behaviors, 11-ketotestosterone (11KT), and sperm morphology but did not impact milt volume or sperm swimming speed. Pairwise breeding generated lineages of offspring with both parents exposed and two lineages where only one parent was exposed; the control lineage had unexposed parents. Reproductive output and male reproductive indices were assessed in F1-F4 offspring to determine whether parental CBZ exposure had transgenerational impacts. The offspring of CBZ-exposed males had lower 11KT, reproductive output, altered courtship, aggression, and sperm morphology compared to the lineage from unexposed parents. Our results indicate that parental carbamazepine exposure history impacts the unexposed progeny up to the F4 generations and that paternal, but not maternal, exposure is most important for the reproductive health of male offspring.


  • Fraz, Shamaila
  • Lee, Abigail H
  • Pollard, Simon
  • Srinivasan, Krishna
  • Vermani, Abhilasha
  • David, Ephraim
  • Wilson, Joanna

publication date

  • November 5, 2019