Triclosan impairs swimming behavior and alters expression of excitation-contraction coupling proteins in fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas)

Erika B. Fritsch, Richard E Connon, Inge Werner, Rebecca E. Davies, Sebastian Beggel, Wei Feng, Isaac N Pessah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

50 Scopus citations


Triclosan (TCS), a high volume chemical widely used in consumer products, is a known aquatic contaminant found in fish inhabiting polluted watersheds. Mammalian studies have recently demonstrated that TCS disrupts signaling between the ryanodine receptor (RyR) and the dihydropyridine receptor (DHPR), two proteins essential for excitation-contraction (EC) coupling in striated muscle. We investigated the swimming behavior and expression of EC coupling proteins in larval fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) exposed to TCS for up to 7 days. Concentrations as low as 75 μg L-1 significantly altered fish swimming activity after 1 day; which was consistent after 7 days of exposure. The mRNA transcription and protein levels of RyR and DHPR (subunit CaV1.1) isoforms changed in a dose and time dependent manner. Crude muscle homogenates from exposed larvae did not display any apparent changes in receptor affinity toward known radioligands. In nonexposed crude muscle homogenates, TCS decreased the binding of [3H]PN20-110 to the DHPR and decreased the binding of [3H]-ryanodine to the RyR, demonstrating a direct impact at the receptor level. These results support TCS's impact on muscle function in vertebrates further exemplifying the need to re-evaluate the risks this pollutant poses to aquatic environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2008-2017
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Feb 19 2013


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry

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