Plastic nanoparticles cause mild inflammation, disrupt metabolic pathways, change the gut microbiota and affect reproduction in zebrafish: A full generation multi-omics study

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Plastic pollution has become a major concern on a global scale. The plastic is broken down into minuscule particles, which have an impact on the biosystems, however long-term impacts through an entire generation is largely unknown. Here, we present the first whole generation study exposing fish to a 500 nm polystyrene plastic particle at environmentally relevant concentrations. Short- and long-term adverse effects were investigated in the zebrafish model organism using a holistic multi-omics approach. The particles accumulated in the yolk sac of young larvae and short-term biological impacts included immune-relevant gene regulation related to inflammation and tolerance as well as disruption of metabolic processes, such as the fatty acid and lipid pathways. The long-term effects comprised gene regulations pointing towards skin and/or gill inflammation, dysbiosis of the gut microbiota, a tendency towards decreased condition factor in adult males as well as a lowered reproductive capability. From this study, it can be concluded that exposures to plastic nanoparticles have an impact on population as well as ecosystem level in fish and likely also in other vertebrates.

Original languageEnglish
Article number127705
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Issue numberPart D
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier B.V.

    Research areas

  • Immune effects, Metabolic disruption, Microbiota dysbiosis, Nutritional condition, Polystyrene

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