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Photoaging enhanced the adverse effects of polyamide microplastics on the growth, intestinal health, and lipid absorption in developing zebrafish
Environment International  (IF9.621),  Pub Date : 2021-10-07, DOI: 10.1016/j.envint.2021.106922
Xingli Zhang, Mengli Xia, Jingyi Zhao, Zhiguo Cao, Wei Zou, Qixing Zhou

The safety of microplastics (MPs) and associated health effects has been one of the major concerns worldwide. However, the role of photoaging toward the risk of MPs in water ecosystems remains inconclusive yet. In this study, the size of polyamide (PA, ∼32.50 μm) MPs was obviously decreased after photoaging in water containing fulvic acid (FA) and humic acid (HA) (∼19.75 and ∼24.30 μm, respectively). Nanoplastics were formed (4.65% and 2.03%, respectively) and hydrophilia and colloidal stability was improved due to the formation of oxygen-containing functional groups. FA-aged PA exhibited higher inhibition on body length and weight of developing zebrafish than HA-aged and pristine PA. Photoaged MPs in intestine were more difficult to be depurated by zebrafish, leading to the disappearance of intestinal folding, shedding of more enterocytes, and emaciation of intestinal microvilli. Dietary lipid digestion in larvae was inhibited by aged PA due to oxidative stress-triggered lipid peroxidation and inhibition of lipase activities and bile acids secretion. Exposure of photoaged MPs down-regulated genes (cd36, dgat1a, dgat2, mttp, etc.) associated with triglyceride resynthesis and transportation, resulting in lipid maladsorption and growth inhibition. Our findings highlight the potential negative effects of environmentally aged MPs on diet digestion and nutrient assimilation in fish.