Description: The presence of pharmaceuticals in the environment is becoming an increasing regulatory and scientific concern. Thus, the metabolic profile and bioconcentration potential of diazepam, a model benzodiazepine, were examined, as well as effects on the endocrine system in channel catfish. Through the use of specific and non-specific cytochrome P450 (CYP450) inhibitors, it was determined that CYP3A-like enzymes may play a role in the biotransformation of diazepam into temazepam; however, the isoform(s) required for the formation of other metabolites is still unknown. Overall, only around 7-8% of diazepam is biotransformed into two known metabolites. Due to the lack of inherent metabolism of diazepam in channel catfish, further analysis was conducted to determine the tissue-specific bioconcentration potential of diazepam in catfish. Various tissues were analyzed for the presence of diazepam as well as metabolites and bioconcentration factors (BCF) were calculated, which were all well below regulatory threshold values (> 2000). Additionally, modulation of the endocrine system by diazepam was examined by measuring steroid hormone concentrations and analyzing mRNA expression of selected steroidogenic enzymes and receptors. Two steroidogenic enzymes were modulated following diazepam exposure, indicating potential endocrine disrupting properties of diazepam. Together, these data suggest that diazepam exhibits low metabolic transformation rates in channel catfish, which may lead to accumulation of benzodiazepine compounds that may negatively affect the endocrine system. However, further studies should be aimed at identifying other steroidogenic enzymes and/or receptors that may be modulated following diazepam exposure.
Date: December 2013
Creator: Overturf, Carmen L.