Niclosamide Exposure at Environmentally Relevant Concentrations Efficaciously Inhibited the Growth and Disturbed the Liver-Gut Axis of Adult Male Zebrafish

Environ Sci Technol. 2022 Aug 16;56(16):11516-11526. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.2c02712. Epub 2022 Jul 28.


In the current study, adult male zebrafish fed a normal diet (ND) or high-fat diet (HFD) were exposed to niclosamide (NIC) at environmentally relevant concentrations to reveal the accumulation and distribution in different tissues and evaluate the effects on liver-gut axis. Chemical analysis indicated that the liver bore a greater burden of NIC compared with the brain and gonads in adult zebrafish, and the HFD-fed fish bore greater burden in their liver and brain than those ND-fed fish. The indications from body weight, growth rate, body mass index, micro-CT images, biochemical and pathological changes confirmed that NIC can efficaciously curb weight gain and improve overloads of in plasma insulin and glucose in HFD-fed zebrafish. However, the potential effects on liver-gut axis in ND-fed zebrafish were also elucidated: NIC disturbed mitochondrial energy production, inhibited the glycemic and triacylglycerol biosynthesis but promoted triacylglycerol and free fatty acid catabolism, therefore reduced lipid accumulation in hepatocytes; NIC also impaired the physical barrier, evoked inflammatory and oxidative stress and led to microbiota dysbiosis in the intestine. There findings highlighted the necessity for evaluating its potential impacts on the health of wild animals as well as human beings upon long-term exposure.

Keywords: Glycemic metabolism; Intestinal health; Lipid metabolism; Microbiota dysbiosis; Niclosamide.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome*
  • Humans
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Niclosamide / metabolism
  • Niclosamide / pharmacology
  • Triglycerides / metabolism
  • Triglycerides / pharmacology
  • Zebrafish* / metabolism


  • Triglycerides
  • Niclosamide