Ibuprofen reduces zebrafish PGE2 levels but steroid hormone levels and reproductive parameters are not affected

Jane Ebsen Morthorst, Andrea Lister, Poul Bjerregaard, Glen Van Der Kraak

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Prostaglandins are important regulators of reproductive function in fish. Analgesics like aspirin and ibuprofen are prostaglandin inhibitors and have been detected in freshwater systems at ng/L-μg/L levels. We investigated whether ibuprofen would affect prostaglandin and sex steroid hormone levels in adult zebrafish (Danio rerio) and if expression levels of genes involved in steroidogenesis and prostaglandin synthesis were affected. Zebrafish were exposed to moderate concentrations of ibuprofen (21, 201 or 506 μg/L) for 7 days in a semi-static test system. Ibuprofen concentrations were close to nominal levels and decreased by a maximum of 12-13% over 24 h. Prostaglandin E 2 (PGE 2) levels in whole body homogenates of males and ovaries of females decreased in a monotonic dose-response relationship whereas male 11-ketotestosterone levels and ovarian 17β-estradiol levels remained unchanged. Ibuprofen did not have an influence on vitellogenin levels, female gonadosomatic index or cumulative egg production and no dose-response relationship in ovarian and testicular expression levels of the investigated genes was observed. This study shows that ibuprofen reduces PGE 2 levels in male and female zebrafish but has no consistent effects on other investigated reproductive parameters.

Original languageEnglish
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology - Part C: Toxicology & Pharmacology
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)251-257
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013


  • COX
  • Endocrine
  • Prostaglandin
  • Steroidogenesis


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