Enhanced uptake of BPA in the presence of nanoplastics can lead to neurotoxic effects in adult zebrafish

Qiqing Chen, Daqiang Yin, Yunlu Jia, Sabrina Schiwy, Jessica Legradi, Shouye Yang, Henner Hollert

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    Plastic particles have been proven to be abundant in the aquatic environment, raising concerns about their potential toxic effects. In the present study, we determined the bioaccumulation potential of bisphenol A (BPA) in adult zebrafish (Danio rerio) in the absence and presence of nano-sized plastic particles (nanoplastics, NPPs). Results show that BPA can accumulate in the viscera, gill, head and muscle of zebrafish with 85, 43, 20, and 3 μg/g ww after 1 d exposure. NPPs were also found to accumulate in different tissues of the fish. Relative equilibrium was reached after 1 d exposure in different tissues with 39 to 636 mg/kg ww. Co-exposure of NPPs and BPA led to a 2.2 and 2.6-fold significant increment of BPA uptake in the head and viscera, if compared with BPA alone treatment after 3 d exposure. As such, we further investigated several neurotoxic biomarker alterations in the fish head. It was found that either BPA or NPPs can cause myelin basic protein (MBP)/gene up-regulation in the central nervous system (CNS); meanwhile, both contaminants exhibited significant inhibition of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity, which is a well-known representative biomarker for neurotoxicity. Moreover, for the co-exposure treatment, biomarkers of myeline and tubulin protein/gene expressions, dopamine content, and the mRNA expression of mesencephalic astrocyte derived neurotrophic factor (MANF) were all significantly up-regulated, suggesting that an enhanced neurotoxic effects in both CNS and dopaminergic system occurred. However, AChE activity was no more inhibited in the co-exposure treatment, which implies that solely AChE measurement may not be sufficient to identify neurotoxic effects in the cholinergic system. Overall, the present study demonstrates that the presence of NPPs can increase BPA bioavailability and cause neurotoxicity in adult zebrafish.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1312-1321
    Number of pages10
    JournalScience of the Total Environment
    Issue numberdec 2017
    Publication statusPublished - 7 Aug 2017


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