Atrazine and its degradates have little effect on the corticosteroid stress response in the zebrafish
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The present study examined the effects of atrazine on basal and forced swimming induced changes in whole body cortisol content in adult zebrafish. Zebrafish were exposed to graded concentrations of atrazine or the atrazine degradates deisopropylatrazine (DIA), deethylatrazine (DEA) and diamino-s-chlorotriazine (DACT) for up to 10 days. Some fish were sampled for the measurement of whole body cortisol levels under basal conditions while others were sampled after being subjected to a 20 min swimming challenge in order to quantify stress induced cortisol levels. In one experiment, zebrafish were subjected to two bouts of forced swimming 3h apart to test whether prior atrazine exposure affects the ability of the fish to respond appropriately to a repeated stressor. The results demonstrated that controls not exposed to atrazine and zebrafish exposed to atrazine or the atrazine degradates at nominal concentrations of up to 100 μg/L consistently exhibited increased whole body cortisol content in response to the swimming challenge. Separate analyses revealed few changes in basal or stress induced cortisol levels following atrazine exposure. Overall, these data suggest that atrazine and some of its degradates at the concentrations tested have minimal effects on the cortisol mediated stress response in the zebrafish.
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