Sci Total Environ.: co-auth.: PAF

Sci Total Environ. 2015 Dec 30;545-546:21-29. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.11.155. [Epub ahead of print]

Multigenerational effects of the anticancer drug tamoxifen and its metabolite 4-hydroxy-tamoxifen on Daphnia pulex.


Tamoxifen and its metabolite 4-hydroxy-tamoxifen (4OHTam) are two potent molecules that have anticancer properties on breast cancers. Their medical use is expected to increase with the increasing global cancer rate. After consumption, patients excrete tamoxifen and the 4OHTam metabolite into wastewaters, and tamoxifen has been already detected in wastewaters and natural waters. The concentrations of 4OHTam in waters have never been reported. A single study reported 4OHTam effects on the microcrustacean Daphnia pulex. The effects of tamoxifen and 4OHTam over more than two generations are unknown in aquatic invertebrates. The main goal of this study was to assess the long-term sensitivity of the microcrustacean D. pulex over four generations, based on size, reproduction, viability and the intrinsic rate of natural increase (r). Additional experiments were carried out to observe whether the effects of tamoxifen and 4OHTam were reversible in the next generation after descendants were withdrawn from chemical stress (i.e., recovery experiment), and whether the lowest test concentration of each chemical induced toxic effects when both concentrations were combined (i.e., mixture experiments). Our results showed that tamoxifen and 4OHTam induced the adverse effects at environmentally relevant concentrations. Tamoxifen and 4OHTam impaired size, viability, reproduction and the r in four generations of treated D. pulex, but these effects were not clearly magnified over generations. Tamoxifen was more potent than 4OHTam on D. pulex. When used in a mixture, the combination of tamoxifen and 4OHTam induced effects in offspring, whereas no effects were observed when these chemicals were tested individually. In the recovery experiment, the reproduction and size were reduced in offspring withdrawn from chemical exposures. Our results suggested that tamoxifen and its metabolite may be a relevant pharmaceutical to consider in risk assessment.

Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Anticancer molecules; Aquatic experiments; Four generations; Toxic effects

PMID: 26745289