Upon Exposure to Cu Nanoparticles, Accumulation of Copper in the Isopod Porcellio scaber Is Due to the Dissolved Cu Ions Inside the Digestive Tract

Golobič M, Jemec A, Drobne D, Romih T, Kasemets K, Kahru A
[ pdf ] [ site ] Environmental Science & Technology, 2012

The fate of nanoparticles in organisms is of significant interest. In the current work, we used a test system with terrestrial isopods (Porcellio scaber) fed with food spiked with Cu NPs or soluble Cu salt for 14 days. Two different doses were used for spiking to yield final concentrations of 2000 and 5000 μg Cu/g dry food. After the exposure period, part of the exposed group of animals was transferred to clean food to depurate. Cu content was analyzed in the digestive glands, gut, and the ‘rest’ of the body. Similar patterns of (i) assimilated and depurated amounts of Cu, (ii) Cu body distribution, and (iii) effect on isopods feeding behavior were observed regardless of whether the animals were fed with Cu NPs or soluble Cu salt spiked food. Thus, Cu ions and not Cu NPs were assimilated by the digestive gland cells. Solubilization of the Cu NPs applied to the leaves was also analyzed with chemical methods and recombinant Cu-sensing bacteria. The comparison of the in vitro data on solubilization of Cu NPs and in vivo data on Cu accumulation in the animal tissues showed that about 99% of accumulated copper ions was dissolved from
ingested Cu NPs in the digestive system of isopods.