Effects of polymethylmethacrylate nanoplastics on Dicentrarchus labrax


The present study aimed to evaluate the effects of similar to 45 nm nanoplastics (NPs) on the marine fish Dicentrarchus labrax after a short-term exposure. Animals were exposed to a concentration range of NPs for 96 h and liver, plasma and skin mucus were sampled. Assessed endpoints included biochemical biomarkers and expression of genes related to lipid metabolism, immune system and general cell stress. Abundance of mRNA transcripts related to lipid metabolism, ppara and ppary, were significantly increased after exposure to NPs. Biochemical endpoints revealed decreased esterase activity levels in plasma, suggesting that the immune system of fish might be compromised by exposure to NPs. Moreover, significantly lower levels of alkaline phosphatase were found in the skin mucus of animals exposed to NPs. The present results suggest that NPs may represent a hazard to this marine fish, potentially interfering with the metabolism of lipids and the correct function of the immune response.



subject category

Biotechnology & Applied Microbiology; Genetics & Heredity


Brandts, I; Teles, M; Tvarijonaviciute, A; Pereira, ML; Martins, MA; 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. IB was granted with a predoctoral contract 'FI-AGAUR' of Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain. Authors acknowledge FCT and FEDER funds through the "Programa Operacional Factores de Competitividade - COMPETE", under the project of CICECO, POCI-01-0145-FEDER-007679 (FCT Ref. UID/CTM/50011/2013) financed by national funds through the FCT/MEC and when appropriate co-financed by FEDER under the PT2020 Partnership Agreement. Joan Carles Balasch is kindly acknowledged for the graphic design of the figures. Ana Patricia Goncalves is acknowledged for her technical support.

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