The potential release of nanoparticles (NPs) into aquatic environments represents a growing concern for their possible impact on aquatic organisms. In this light, exposure studies during early life stages, which can be highly sensitive to environmental perturbations, would greatly help identifying potential adverse effects of NPs. Although in the marine bivalve Mytilus spp. the effects of different types of NPs have been widely investigated, little is known on the effects of NPs on the developing embryo. In M. galloprovincialis, emerging contaminants were shown to affect gene expression profiles during early embryo development (from trocophorae-24 hpf to D-veligers-48 hpf). In this work, the effects of amino-modified polystyrene NPs (PS-NH2) on mussel embryos were investigated. PS-NH2 affected the development of normal D-shaped larvae at 48 hpf (EC50 = 0.142 mg/L). Higher concentrations (5–20 mg/L) resulted in high embryotoxicity/developmental arrest. At concentrations ≅ EC50, PS-NH2 affected shell formation, as shown by optical and polarized light microscopy. In these conditions, transcription of 12 genes involved in different biological processes were evaluated. PS-NH2 induced dysregulation of transcription of genes involved in early shell formation (Chitin synthase, Carbonic anhydrase, Extrapallial Protein) at both 24 and 48 hpf. Decreased mRNA levels for ABC transporter p-glycoprotein-ABCB and Lysozyme were also observed at 48 hpf. SEM observations confirmed developmental toxicity at higher concentrations (5 mg/L). These data underline the sensitivity of Mytilus early embryos to PS-NH2 and support the hypothesis that calcifying larvae of marine species are particularly vulnerable to abiotic stressors, including exposure to selected types of NPs.

Impact of cationic polystyrene nanoparticles (PS-NH2) on early embryo development of Mytilus galloprovincialis: Effects on shell formation

BALBI, TERESA;MONTAGNA, MICHELE;CARBONE, CRISTINA;CANESI, LAURA
2017-01-01

Abstract

The potential release of nanoparticles (NPs) into aquatic environments represents a growing concern for their possible impact on aquatic organisms. In this light, exposure studies during early life stages, which can be highly sensitive to environmental perturbations, would greatly help identifying potential adverse effects of NPs. Although in the marine bivalve Mytilus spp. the effects of different types of NPs have been widely investigated, little is known on the effects of NPs on the developing embryo. In M. galloprovincialis, emerging contaminants were shown to affect gene expression profiles during early embryo development (from trocophorae-24 hpf to D-veligers-48 hpf). In this work, the effects of amino-modified polystyrene NPs (PS-NH2) on mussel embryos were investigated. PS-NH2 affected the development of normal D-shaped larvae at 48 hpf (EC50 = 0.142 mg/L). Higher concentrations (5–20 mg/L) resulted in high embryotoxicity/developmental arrest. At concentrations ≅ EC50, PS-NH2 affected shell formation, as shown by optical and polarized light microscopy. In these conditions, transcription of 12 genes involved in different biological processes were evaluated. PS-NH2 induced dysregulation of transcription of genes involved in early shell formation (Chitin synthase, Carbonic anhydrase, Extrapallial Protein) at both 24 and 48 hpf. Decreased mRNA levels for ABC transporter p-glycoprotein-ABCB and Lysozyme were also observed at 48 hpf. SEM observations confirmed developmental toxicity at higher concentrations (5 mg/L). These data underline the sensitivity of Mytilus early embryos to PS-NH2 and support the hypothesis that calcifying larvae of marine species are particularly vulnerable to abiotic stressors, including exposure to selected types of NPs.
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