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Immunohistological Biomarkers of Toxicity by a Pharmaceutical Antidepressant in the Freshwater Cichlid Fish Cichlasoma dimerus (Teleostei, Cichliformes)


Melano-macrophage centers (MMCs) are nodular clusters of pigmented macrophages, implicated in homeostasis and destruction and recycling of endogenous and exogenous material. They can increase in size and/or frequency under environmental stress resulting in immunohistological biomarkers of water quality. Fluoxetine (FLX), a commonly prescribed antidepressant, can cause neuroendocrine, behavioral and reproductive alterations in teleost fish. In the present study, we analyzed the effects of a 2-week 50 µg/L FLX exposure on MMCs in histological sections of spleen and head-kidney (HK) of the cichlid fish Cichlasoma dimerus. In the spleen, FLX caused an increase in the area and a decrease in the number of MMCs. An increase in the proportion of the HK occupied by MMCs was observed in FLX-exposed fish, due to an increase in their number but not their area. The deposition rate of MMCs varies according to the hemolymphopoietic organ and would be the result of a differential response to FLX on homeostatic functions (elimination of cellular debris, iron processing and immune response).

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The financial support was provided by grants from Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBACyT 0672, Lo Nostro) and Agencia Nacional de Promoción Científica y Tecnologica (PICT2016-0432, Lo Nostro).

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Correspondence to Fabiana Laura Lo Nostro.

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Rey Vázquez, G., Da Cuña, R.H., Dorelle, L.S. et al. Immunohistological Biomarkers of Toxicity by a Pharmaceutical Antidepressant in the Freshwater Cichlid Fish Cichlasoma dimerus (Teleostei, Cichliformes). Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 104, 180–184 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00128-019-02770-3

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  • Melano-macrophage centers
  • Fluoxetine
  • Hematopoietic tissue
  • Spleen
  • Head kidney