beta-Naphthoflavone and benzo(a)pyrene alter dopaminergic, noradrenergic, and serotonergic systems in brain and pituitary of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)

Manuel Gesto, Adrian Tintos, Jose L. Soengas, Jesus M. Miguez

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


In the present study we evaluate for the first time the potential of the flavonoid compound beta-naphthoflavone (BNF) and the high molecular weight- Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) benzo(a)pyrene (BaP) to alter brain neurotransmitter metabolism in fish. Fish of three different groups were intraperitoneally (i.p.) injected (2 mu l g(-1)) with vegetable oil alone (control) or containing BNF or BaP (10mg kg(-1)) and sacrificed 3, 24, and 72h after treatment. Contents of dopamine (DA), noradrenaline (NA) and serotonin (5HT), as well as the amine oxidative metabolites, 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) and 5-hydroxyindole-3-acetic acid (5HIAA) were assayed in telencephalon, hypothalamus, preoptic region, optic tectum, and brain stem, as well as the pituitary. Fish treated with PAHs showed after 3 h decreases in 5HT content in telencephalon, hypothalamus, preoptic region (with both BNF and BaP), and pituitary (with BaP), resulting in increased 5HIAA/5HT ratio. An increased ratio was also observed in hypothalamus 24 h after BaP, and in preoptic region 72 h after BNF, in both cases due to an increased 5HIAA content. In other brain regions PAHs effects on 5-HT metabolism were less consistent. With respect to the dopaminergic system, changes induced by PAHs mainly occurred after 24 and 72 h of treatment, with increased DOPAC/DA ratio in preoptic region and brain stem. In hypothalamus, tectum, and pituitary, changes in DA metabolism showed strong variability. Finally, a decreased content of NA was evident in preoptic region (3 h) and in telencephalon (24 h) after both BNF and BaP treatments. Therefore, both BNF and BaP seem to act in rainbow trout brain by impairing 5HT availability at short term (3 h) and increasing neuronal metabolic utilization of both 5HT and DA after 24 and 72 h. Data collected in the present study suggest that brain monoamine neurotransmitters are potential targets of BNF and BaP, and their alteration could have a role in known effects of PAHs on several neuroendocrine processes that are centrally regulated or modulated by brain monoamines. (C) 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEcotoxicology and Environmental Safety
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)191-198
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • beta-Naphthoflavone
  • Benzo(a)pyrene
  • Brain
  • Dopamine
  • Serotonin
  • Noradrenaline
  • Rainbow trout
  • 3,4-Dihydroxyphenylacetic Acid
  • Animals
  • Biogenic Monoamines
  • Brain Stem
  • Female
  • Hydroxyindoleacetic Acid
  • Norepinephrine
  • Oncorhynchus mykiss
  • Pituitary Gland
  • Superior Colliculi
  • β-Naphthoflavone
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pollution
  • 3,4 dihydroxyphenylacetic acid
  • 5 hydroxyindoleacetic acid
  • amine
  • benzo[a]pyrene
  • beta naphthoflavone
  • brain monoamine
  • dopamine
  • neurotransmitter
  • noradrenalin
  • polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon
  • serotonin
  • bioassay
  • brain
  • drug
  • metabolism
  • metabolite
  • PAH
  • pigment
  • pollution effect
  • salmonid
  • vegetable oil
  • animal experiment
  • animal tissue
  • article
  • brain region
  • brain stem
  • controlled study
  • dopamine metabolism
  • dopaminergic system
  • female
  • hypophysis
  • hypothalamus
  • neuromodulation
  • nonhuman
  • noradrenergic system
  • optic tectum
  • preoptic area
  • rainbow trout
  • serotoninergic system
  • telencephalon
  • Pisces Vertebrata Chordata Animalia (Animals, Chordates, Fish, Nonhuman Vertebrates, Vertebrates) - Osteichthyes [85206] Oncorhynchus mykiss species rainbow trout common
  • 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid
  • 5-hydroxyindole-3-acetic acid 54-16-0
  • benzo(a)pyrene 50-32-8
  • beta-naphthoflavone 6051-87-2
  • dopamine 51-61-6
  • neurotransmitters
  • noradrenaline 51-41-2
  • serotonin 50-67-9
  • 10060, Biochemistry studies - General
  • 10064, Biochemistry studies - Proteins, peptides and amino acids
  • 17002, Endocrine - General
  • 17014, Endocrine - Pituitary
  • 17020, Endocrine - Neuroendocrinology
  • 20504, Nervous system - Physiology and biochemistry
  • Chemical Coordination and Homeostasis
  • Neural Coordination
  • brain nervous system
  • hypothalamus nervous system
  • pituitary endocrine system
  • preoptic region
  • telencephalon nervous system
  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics
  • Endocrine System
  • Nervous System


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