Immunotoxicity of four nanoparticles to a marine bivalve species, Tegillarca granosa.


College of Animal Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, PR China. Electronic address: [Email]


The increasing application of nanomaterials drives the unintentional release of nanoparticles (NPs) into the ocean, which may pose a potential threat to marine organisms. It has been demonstrated that exposure to NPs could chanllenge the immune responses of marine species. However, the affecting mechanism behind remains poorly understood. In this study, the immunotoxic impacts and the mechanisms underpinning the effects of four major NPs, including nZnO, nFe2O3, nCuO, and carbon nanotube (MWCNT), were investigated in blood clam, Tegillarca granosa. The results showed that exposure to tested NPs resulted in reduced total counts, altered cell composition, and constrained phagocytic activities of haemocytes. The intracellular contents of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the degree of DNA damage of haemocytes were significantly induced, whereas the haemocyte viability was suppressed. Furthermore, NP exposures led to significant increases in the in vivo contents of neurotransmitters. Down-regulations of the immune- and neurotransmitter-related genes were detected as well. Our data suggest that NP exposures hampered the immune responses of blood clams most likely through (1) inducing ROS, causing DNA damage, and reducing cell viability of haemocytes, (2) altering the in vivo contents of neurotransmitters, and (3) affecting the expression of immune- and neurotransmitter-related genes.


DNA damage,Immune response,Nanoparticles,Neurotransmitter,ROS,