Genotoxicity of gold nanoparticles in the gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata) after single exposure and combined with the pharmaceutical gemfibrozil


Due to their diverse applications, gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) are expected to increase of in the environment, although few studies are available on their mode of action in aquatic organisms. The genotoxicity of AuNPs, alone or combined with the human pharmaceutical gemfibrozil (GEM), an environmental contaminant frequently detected in aquatic systems, including in marine ecosystems, was examined using gilthead seabream erythrocytes as a model system. Fish were exposed for 96 h to 4, 80 and 1600 mu g L-1 of 40 nm AuNPs with two coatings - citrate or polyvinylpyrrolidone; GEM (150 mu g L-1); and a combination of AuNPs and GEM (80 mu g L-1 AuNPs + 150 mu g L-1 GEM). AuNPs induced DNA damage and increased nuclear abnormalities levels, with coating showing an important role in the toxicity of AuNPs to fish. The combined exposures of AuNPs and GEM produced an antagonistic response, with observed toxic effects in the mixtures being lower than the predicted. The results raise concern about the safety of AuNPs and demonstrate interactions between them and other contaminants. (C) 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.



subject category

Environmental Sciences & Ecology


Barreto, A; Luis, LG; Pinto, E; Almeida, A; Paiga, P; Santos, LHMLM; Delerue-Matos, C; Trindade, T; Soares, AMVM; Hylland, K; Loureiro, S; Oliveira, M

our authors


This research was supported through the COMPETE Operational Competitiveness Program and national funds through FCT Foundation for Science and Technology, under the project NANOAu -Effects of Gold Nanoparticles to Aquatic Organisms (FCT PTDC/MAR-EST/3399/2012) (FCOMP-01-0124-FEDER-029435), through FCT/MCTES through national funds (PIDDAC), the cofounding by FEDER, within the PT2020 Partnership Agreement and Compete 2020 to CESAM (UID/AMB/50017 POCI-01-0145FEDER-007638) and UID/QUI/50006/2013. A. Barreto has a doctoral fellowship from FCT (SFRH/BD/97624/2013); L. G. Luis had a fellowship from FCT (BI/UI88/6881/2014). MO has financial support of the program Investigator FCT, co-funded by the Human Potential Operational Programme and European Social Fund (IF/00335(2015)).

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