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Benzophenone-3 (BP-3) is a UV filter that is ubiquitously present in the environment due to its photostability and degradation resistance and has wide applications in personal care products. BP-3 will eventually be discharged into the ocean. Studies shows BP-3 interferes with endocrine system of aquatic organisms, especially fish. However, the toxicity and mechanisms of subacute exposure of the coral reef fish to BP-3 remain elusive. Here, we exposed the one-month-old clown anemonefish to BP-3 at 1 and 10 μg/L for 14 and 28 days, respectively. After chronic exposure, the effects of BP-3 on the growth of clown anemonefish were investigated in terms of growth-related hormones, immune enzyme activity, digestive enzyme activity, transcriptional profiling of feeding- and obesity-related genes and digital RNA sequencing. The body weight in the BP-3 groups were abnormally increased (1 μg/L group in 14 days treatment and all groups in 28 days treatment), altered insulin content (28 days exposure), immune-related and digestive-related enzymatic activities. At the molecular level, BP-3 interferes with the expression of feeding- and obesity-related genes. Digital RNA sequencing analysis showed that BP-3 interferes with Kyoto encyclopedia of genes and genomes (KEGG) pathways related to growth, social behavior (learning behavior), Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase (MAPK) signaling pathway, PI3K-Akt signaling pathway, and insulin secretion. Notably, in the insulin secretion, BP-3 induced Ca2+ up-regulation that may damage β cells. Growth abnormalities and social behavior (learning behavior) KEGG pathway disturbances may have potential impacts on populations of clown anemonefish. Our results reveal the toxicological effects of subacute exposure to BP-3, and provides insight into the effects and mechanisms of BP-3 on clown anemonefish growth. Copyright © 2023 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Yankun Zhang, Yongqiang Qin, Hanye Ju, Jin Liu, Fengtong Chang, Muhammad Junaid, Dandan Duan, Jiliang Zhang, Xiaoping Diao. Mechanistic toxicity and growth abnormalities mediated by subacute exposure to environmentally relevant levels of benzophenone-3 in clown anemonefish (Amphiprion ocellaris). The Science of the total environment. 2023 Dec 01;902:166308

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PMID: 37595922

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