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    The negative effects of metal oxide nanoparticles on aquatic environment and organisms have caused much concern. In this study, the embryotoxicity of zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NP) to marine medaka, Oryzias melastigma, was explored and compared with that of aqueous Zn (ZnSO4·7H2O). The Zn2+ released from ZnO NP in artificial seawater at exposure concentrations was also measured. Results showed that zinc ion release percentage (%) decreased with increasing concentration, which was 44%, 41% and 25% at 0.1, 1 and 10mg/L of ZnO NP suspension, respectively. After 20 d exposure of medaka embryos to ZnO NP, we observed increased mortality and heart rate, reduced percent total hatching success, delayed hatching of embryos and increased malformation% of newly-hatched larvae in ZnO NP treatment compared to the control group. Furthermore, ZnO NPs have significantly greater effects than the aqueous Zn for mortality and heart rate, indicating that ZnO NPs themselves, in particulate or aggregate form, contribute to the observed toxicity. Edema was the most commonly found malformation in newly-hatched larvae after ZnO NP exposure. Overall, our findings suggest that the embryonic stage of marine medaka is sensitive to ZnO NP exposure. Studies of the toxic mechanism of ZnO NPs should not ignore the impact of NPs since the greater effects of ZnO NPs than of aqueous Zn ions observed in this study cannot be explained by the ZnO NP dissolution. The ion release profile of ZnO NPs in marine environment is related to both NP and seawater characteristics, which should be analyzed on a case-by-case basis. The ZnO NP-related Zn speciation may play an important role in the dissolution and toxicity processes of ZnO NPs in marine environment, and further speciation study may contribute to the interpretation of ZnO NP toxicity. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


    Yi Cong, Fei Jin, Juying Wang, Jingli Mu. The embryotoxicity of ZnO nanoparticles to marine medaka, Oryzias melastigma. Aquatic toxicology (Amsterdam, Netherlands). 2017 Apr;185:11-18

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    PMID: 28157544

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