PloS one 2018 04 0513(4) e0195366 doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0195366
The waste of commonly used medicines is known to contaminate freshwater ecosystems. Pharmaceuticals can be toxic, mutagenic, or modifying to freshwater organisms even at low concentrations if consider their permanent presence in the environment. Chemotherapeutics used to treat cancer, and in particular alkylating agents, contribute significantly to this form of pollution, the latter introducing cytotoxic and/or mutagenic lesions to the DNA and RNA of organisms which can be disruptive to their cells. The aim of the present study was to investigate the influence of the alkylating anticancer agent cyclophosphamide (CP) on Daphnia magna clones. We evaluated the life history parameters and protein profiles of this crustacean following exposure to environmentally relevant CP concentration of 10 ng L-1. Even at this low concentration, the alkylating agent caused modification of the life history parameters and proteome profile of the Daphnia. These changes were clone-specific and involved growth rate, age at first reproduction, neonate number, and proteins related to cell cycle and redox state regulation. The disturbance caused by pharmaceuticals contaminating freshwater ecosystem is probably weaker and unlikely to be cytotoxic in character due to the high dilution of these substances in the water. However, our results indicate that prolonged exposure of organisms to these toxins may lead to modifications on the organismal and molecular levels with unpredictable significance for the entire ecosystem.