Waterborne exposure of gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata) to polymethylmethacrylate nanoplastics causes effects at cellular and molecular levels


This study evaluated the effect of a short-term exposure to 45 nm polymethylmethacrylate nanoplastics (PMMANPs) on the gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata), by assessing biomarkers at different levels of biological organization in liver and plasma. Fish were exposed via water to PMMA-NPs (0, 0.001, 0.01, 0.1, 1 and 10 mg L-1) and sampled after 24 and 96 h. Results showed a general up-regulation of mRNA levels of key genes associated with lipid metabolism (e.g. apolipoprotein A1 and retinoid X receptor). Together with the modulation of the lipid pathway genes we also found a global increase in cholesterol and triglycerides in plasma. Antioxidant-related genes (e.g. glutathione peroxidase 1) were also up-regulated after 24 h of exposure, but their expression levels returned to control afterwards. Total antioxidant capacity (TAC) was increased throughout the experiment, however at 96 h the antioxidant capacity became less efficient, reflected by an increase in the total oxidative status (TOS). Concomitantly, we found an increase in the erythrocytic nuclear abnormalities (ENAs) throughout the trial. Altogether, PMMA-NPs activated the organism's antioxidant defenses and induced alterations in lipid metabolism pathways and genotoxicity in the blood cells of gilthead seabream.




Engineering, Environmental; Environmental Sciences


Brandts, I; Barria, C; Martins, MA; Franco-Martinez, L; Barreto, A; Tvarijonaviciute, A; Tort, L; Oliveira, M; Teles, M

nossos autores


This research was supported through CESAM (UIDP/50017/2020 + UIDB/50017/2020) and Plan Nacional de Investigacion, Government of Spain and UE-FEDER funds (AGL2016-76069-C2-2-R) and 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 (FCTPTDC/MAR-EST/3399/2012) (FCOMP-01-0124-FEDER-029435). MO had financial support of the program Investigador FCT, co-funded by the Human Potential Operational Programme and European Social Fund (IF/00335-2015). AT has a post-doctoral fellowship Ramon y Cajal supported by the Ministerio de Economia y Competitividad, FEDER funds through the Programa Operacional Factores de Competitividade -COMPETE, under the project of CICECO, POCI-01-0145-FEDER-007679 (FCT Ref.Spain. IB was granted with a predoctoral contract `FI-AGAUR' of Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain. LFM was granted with predoctoral contract `FPU' of University of Murcia, 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. LT and MT are members of Healthiest Fish (AGL2016-81808-REDT). MT, IB and LT are members of the Xarxa d'Aquicultura de Catalunya. Joan Carles Balasch is greatfully acknowledged for the design of the graphical abstract.

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