Effects of nanoplastics on Mytilus galloprovincialis after individual and combined exposure with carbamazepine


Plastic pollution is a worldwide problem, highlighted by the fact that plastic materials degrade into nano-size particles (<100 nm), potentially becoming more bioavailable as well as a source of entry of other contaminants into organisms. The present study aimed to assess the effects of polystyrene nanoplastics (PS), individually or combined with carbamazepine (Cbz), on the Mediterranean mussel, Mytilus galloprovincialis. For this purpose, mussels were exposed for 96 h to a concentration range of PS (from 0.05 up to 50 mg L-1), to Cbz (6.3 mu g L-1) alone and to the mixture of PS + Cbz (0.05 mg L-1 + 6.3 mu g L-1). Molecular and biochemical biomarkers were assessed in the digestive glands, gills and haemolymph. The abundance of mRNA in the digestive glands and gills revealed significant alterations in the expression of genes associated with biotransformation, DNA repair, cell stress-response and innate immunity. Combined exposure of PS + Cbz induced significant downregulation in gene expression (e.g., hsp70) when compared to individual exposure. Total oxidant status increased in digestive glands after exposure to 0.5 mg L-1 PS. Moreover, increased total antioxidant capacity and esterase activity were observed for PS 50mg L-1, in digestive glands and gills, respectively. The PS induced effects on neurotransmission, measured as inhibition of cholinesterase activity in haemolymph. Genotoxicity was found in haemocytes after exposure to PS, Cbz and their mixture. Moreover, lipid peroxidation was observed for 0.05 mg L-1 PS exposure, showing that nanoplastics can induce oxidative damage. The present study demonstrated that PS, even at low concentrations, led to alterations on the assessed mussels' endpoints. (c) 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.



subject category

Environmental Sciences & Ecology


Brandts, I; Teles, M; Goncalves, AP; Barreto, A; Franco-Martinez, L; Tvarijonaviciute, A; Martins, MA; Soares, AMVM; Tort, L; Oliveira, M

our authors


This research was supported through CESAM (UID/AMB/50017/2013) and Plan Nacional de Investigacion (AGL2016-76069-C2-2-R). MO had financial support of the program Investigador FCT, co-funded by the Human Potential Operational Programme and European Social Fund (IF/00335-2015). MT has a post-doctoral fellowship from FCT (SFRH/BPD/109219/2015). AT has a post-doctoral fellowship supported by the Ministerio de Economia y Competitividad, Spain. LFM was granted with predoctoral contract 'FPU' of University of Murcia, Spain. J.C. Balasch is acknowledged for the graphic design.

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