Effects of selected metal oxide nanoparticles on Artemia salina larvae – evaluation of mortality and behavioural and biochemical responses

Gambardella C, Mesarič T, Milivojević T, Sepčić K, Gallus L, Carbone S, Ferrando S, Faimali M
[ pdf ] [ site ] Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 2014

The aim was to investigate the toxicity of selected metal oxide nanoparticles (MO-NPs) on the brine shrimp Artemia salina, by evaluating mortality and behavioural and biochemical responses. Larvae were exposed to tin(IV) oxide (stannic oxide (SnO2)), cerium(IV) oxide (CeO2) and iron(II, III) oxide (Fe3O4) NPs for 48 h in seawater, with MO-NP suspensions from 0.01 to 1.0 mg/mL. Mortality and behavioural responses (swimming speed alteration) and enzymatic activities of cholinesterase, glutathione-S-transferase and catalase were evaluated. Although the MO-NPs did not induce any mortality of the larvae, they caused changes in behavioural and biochemical responses. Swimming speed significantly decreased in larvae exposed to CeO2 NPs. Cholinesterase and glutathione-S-transferase activities were significantly inhibited in larvae exposed to SnO2 NPs, whereas cholinesterase activity significantly increased after CeO2 NP and Fe3O4 NP exposure. Catalase activity significantly increased in larvae exposed to Fe3O4 NPs. In conclusion, swimming alteration and cholinesterase activity represent valid endpoints for MO-NP exposure, while glutathione-S-transferase and catalase activities appear to be NP-specific.