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Particles rather than released Zn2+ from ZnO nanoparticles aggravate microplastics toxicity in early stages of exposed zebrafish and their unexposed offspring
Journal of Hazardous Materials  (IF10.588),  Pub Date : 2021-10-24, DOI: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2021.127589
Jia-Lang Zheng, Xiao Chen, Li-Bin Peng, Dan Wang, Qing-Ling Zhu, Jiji Li, Tao Han

Knowledge on the interaction between microplastics (MPs) and zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) is limited. Here, we investigated effects of embryo-larvae exposure to 500 μg/L polystyrene MPs (5 µm), 1200 μg/L ZnO NPs (< 100 nm), 500 μg/L dissolved Zn2+ from ZnSO4, and the mixtures of MPs and ZnO NPs or ZnSO4 on exposed F0 larvae and unexposed F1 larvae. Consequently, ZnO particles adhered to MPs surfaces rather than Zn2+, and increased Zn transport into larvae. Growth inhibition, oxidative stress, apoptosis, and disturbance of growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor (GH/IGF) axis were induced by MPs and ZnO NPs alone, which were further aggravated by their co-exposure in F0 larvae. MPs + ZnO increased apoptotic cells in the gill and esophagus compared with MPs and ZnO NPs alone. Reduced growth and antioxidant capacity and down-regulated GH/IGF axis were merely observed in F1 larvae from F0 parents exposed to MPs + ZnO. Contrary to ZnO NPs, dissolved Zn2+ reversed MPs toxicity, suggesting the protective role of Zn2+ may be not enough to ameliorate thfie negative effects of ZnO particles. To summarize, we found that particles rather than released Zn2+ from ZnO nanoparticles amplified MPs toxicity in early stages of exposed zebrafish and their unexposed offspring.