Jan 12, 2008

Exposure to copper nanoparticles causes gill injury and acute lethality in zebrafish (Danio rerio)

Environmental Science & Technology
Robert J GriffittDavid S Barber

Abstract

Increasing use of metallic nanomaterials is likely to result in release of these particles into aqueous environments; however, it is unclear if these materials present a hazard to aquatic organisms. Because some dissolution of metal particles will occur, it is important to distinguish effects of nanoparticulates from dissolved metals. To address this issue, acute toxicity of soluble copper and 80 nm copper nanoparticle suspensions were examined in zebrafish. The results demonstrate that nanocopper is acutely toxic to zebrafish, with a 48 h LC50 concentration of 1.5 mg/L. Rapid aggregation of copper nanoparticles occurred after suspension in water, resulting in 50-60% of added mass leaving the water column. While dissolution of particulate copper occurred, it was insufficient to explain the mortality in nanocopper exposures. Histological and biochemical analysis revealed that the gill was the primary target organ for nanocopper. To further investigate the effects of nanocopper on the gill, zebrafish were exposed to 100 microg/L of nanocopper or to the concentration of soluble copper matching that present due to dissolution of the particles. Under these conditions, nanocopper produced different morphological effects and global ge...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Aquatic Organisms
Aggregation
Acute Disease
Gene Expression
Copper
Soluble
Landfill Leachate
Nanocrystalline Materials
Zebrafish
Gill Structure

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