Genotoxic effects of silver nanoparticles on a tropical marine amphipod via feeding exposure

Mutation Research/Genetic Toxicology and Environmental Mutagenesis(2022)

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Silver nanoparticles (AgNP) are widely used in several applications including as antifouling agents; therefore, they can end up in estuarine and marine environments. These nanoparticles tend to aggregate and to deposit in the sediment, where many organisms feed and reproduce. Parhyale hawaiensis is an epibenthic amphipod globally distributed in tropical zones, and has been considered a potential model for ecotoxicology. The aim of this study was to evaluate genotoxic effects of AgNP and Ag salt via feeding, as P. hawaiensis lives in the sediment where nanoparticles tend to accumulate. Organisms were cultivated in the laboratory, and adults were exposed to food containing both AgNP and Ag salt. We collected hemolymph after different times of exposure, and analysed the hemocytes for nuclear abnormalities (including micronuclei) and DNA damage using the standard alkaline comet assay. Conditions of both assays were developed/optimized to allow their successful application in marine invertebrates. Increased frequencies of micronuclei, nuclear buds and total abnormalities were detected in relation to concentration and time in organisms exposed to AgNP and Ag salt in comparison to the controls. No DNA damage was detected when the alkaline comet assay was applied. After 5 days of exposure, we observed higher micronuclei frequencies in Ag salt treatment in comparison with AgNP. After 13 days, micronuclei frequencies were similar for both silver forms. We believe that the Ag, in its ion form, is causing the mutagenic effect; therefore, more time would be needed for the release of the ion from AgNP, explaining the delayed mutagenic effect.
DNA damage,Micronucleus,Crustacean,Nanomaterials
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