Neurodevelopmental toxicity of alumina nanoparticles to zebrafish larvae: Toxic effects of particle sizes and ions


The aim of this study was to explore the mechanism of neurodevelopmental toxicity of alumina nanoparticles (AlNPs) on zebrafish larvae, specifically, the toxic effects of AlNPs of different particle sizes and of dissolved aluminum ions. AlNPs with sizes of 13 nm (13 nm-Al) and 50 nm (50 nm-Al) were used as the main research objects; while nanocarbon particles with sizes of 13 nm (13 nm-C) and 50 nm (50 nm-C) as particle-size controls; and an aluminum chloride solution (Al3+) as an ion control. Zebrafish embryos were exposed to different treatments from 6 h post-fertilization (hpf) to 168 hpf. Deformities were observed at different time points. Neurodevelopmental behavior tests were carried out, and oxidative stress responses and transcriptional alterations in autophagy-related genes were assessed. Malformations occurred in the 13 nm-Al, 50 nm-Al, and Al3+ treated groups at different developmental stages of zebrafish larval, but no malformations were observed in the 13 nm-C or 50 nm-C groups. In addition, the average speed, distance travelled and thigmotaxis in zebrafish larvae decreased in the AlNPs treated group, and the effects were related to the particle sizes. Furthermore, increases in the oxidative stress response and autophagy-related genes expression were also related to the particle sizes of AlNPs as well. In conclusion, the mechanism underlying the neurodevelopmental toxicity of AlNPs on zebrafish larvae mainly depended on the size of the nanoparticles, and dissolved Al3+ also contributes to the toxic effects.

Authors: Rong Fan, Jin Chen, Xiaocheng Gao, Qinli Zhang
; Full Source: Food and chemical toxicology : an international journal published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association 2021 Sep 27;112587. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2021.112587.