Functional and hepatic metabolite changes in aquatic turtle hatchlings exposed to the anti-androgenic fungicide vinclozolin

Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2022 Feb:231:113220. doi: 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2022.113220. Epub 2022 Jan 20.


Many man-made chemicals that are released into water bodies in agricultural landscapes have been identified as endocrine disruptors and can cause serious impacts on the growth and survival of aquatic species living in these environments. However, very little attention has been paid to their toxicological effects in cultured non-fish species, such as aquatic turtles. We exposed hatchlings of the Chinese soft-shelled turtle (Pelodiscus sinensis) to different concentrations of vinclozolin (0, 5, 50 and 500 μg/L) for 60 days to assess physiological and metabolic impacts of this fungicide. Despite no death occurrence, hatchling turtles exposed to the highest concentration of vinclozolin consumed less food, grew more slowly (resulting in smaller body size after exposure) and performed more poorly in behavioral swimming tests than controls and turtles exposed to lower concentrations. Hepatic metabolite profiles acquired via liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) revealed multiple metabolic perturbations related to amino acid, lipid, and fatty acid metabolism in animals exposed to environmentally relevant concentrations. Specifically, many critical metabolites involved in energy-related metabolic pathways (such as some intermediates in the tricarboxylic acid cycle, lactate, and some amino acids) were present in livers of hatchling turtles exposed vinclozolin, though at lower concentrations, reflecting energy metabolism dysregulation induced by exposure to this fungicide. Overall, our results suggest that the changes in growth and behavioral performances caused by chronic vinclozolin exposure may be associated with internal physiological and metabolic disorders mediated at the biochemical level.

Keywords: Behavior; Feeding performance; Growth rate; LC-MS; Metabolomics; Pelodiscus sinensis; Swimming speed; Vinclozolin.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Fungicides, Industrial* / toxicity
  • Liver
  • Oxazoles / toxicity
  • Turtles*


  • Fungicides, Industrial
  • Oxazoles
  • vinclozolin