TitlePersistent adult zebrafish behavioral deficits results from acute embryonic exposure to gold nanoparticles.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsTruong, L, Saili, KS, Miller, JM, Hutchison, JE, Tanguay, RL
JournalComp Biochem Physiol C Toxicol Pharmacol
Date Published2012 Mar
KeywordsAnimals, Embryo, Nonmammalian, Gold, Humans, Larva, Mesna, Metal Nanoparticles, Motor Activity, Quaternary Ammonium Compounds, Sulfhydryl Compounds, Time Factors, Zebrafish

As the number of products containing nanomaterials increase, human exposure to nanoparticles (NPs) is unavoidable. Presently, few studies focus on the potential long-term consequences of developmental NP exposure. In this study, zebrafish embryos were acutely exposed to three gold NPs that possess functional groups with differing surface charge. Embryos were exposed to 50 μg/mL of 1.5 nm gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) possessing negatively charged 2-mercaptoethanesulfonic acid (MES) or neutral 2-(2-(2-mercaptoethoxy)ethoxy)ethanol (MEEE) ligands or 10 μg/mL of the AuNPs possessing positively charged trimethylammoniumethanethiol (TMAT). Both MES- and TMAT-AuNP exposed embryos exhibited hypo-locomotor activity, while those exposed to MEEE-AuNPs did not. A subset of embryos that were exposed to 1.5 nm MES- and TMAT-AuNPs during development from 6 to 120 h post fertilization was raised to adulthood. Behavioral abnormalities and the number of survivors into adulthood were evaluated at 122 days post fertilization. We found that both treatments induced abnormal startle behavior following a tap stimulus. However, the MES-AuNPs exposed group also exhibited abnormal adult behavior in the light and had a lower survivorship into adulthood. This study demonstrates that acute, developmental exposure to 1.5 nm MES- and TMAT-AuNPs, two NPs differing only in the functional group, affects larval behavior, with behavioral effects persisting into adulthood.

Alternate JournalComp. Biochem. Physiol. C Toxicol. Pharmacol.
PubMed ID21946249
PubMed Central IDPMC3255321
Grant ListR01 ES016896-03 / ES / NIEHS NIH HHS / United States
P30 ES000210-43 / ES / NIEHS NIH HHS / United States
R01 ES016896 / ES / NIEHS NIH HHS / United States
F31 ES019445-02 / ES / NIEHS NIH HHS / United States
F31 ES019445 / ES / NIEHS NIH HHS / United States
R01ES016896 / ES / NIEHS NIH HHS / United States
P30 ES000210 / ES / NIEHS NIH HHS / United States