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Diet-sourced carbon-based nanoparticles induce lipid alterations in tissues of zebrafish (Danio rerio) with genomic hypermethylation changes in brain

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/01/2017
Issue number1
Number of pages13
Pages (from-to)91-103
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date26/10/16
<mark>Original language</mark>English


With rising environmental levels of carbon-based nanoparticles (CBNs), there is an urgent need to develop an understanding of their biological effects in order to generate appropriate risk assessment strategies. Herein, we exposed zebrafish via their diet to one of four different CBNs: C-60 fullerene (C-60), single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNT), short multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) or long MWCNTs. Lipid alterations in male and female zebrafish were explored post-exposure in three target tissues (brain, gonads and gastrointestinal tract) using 'omic' procedures based in liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (LC-MS) data files. These tissues were chosen as they are often target tissues following environmental exposure. Marked alterations in lipid species are noted in all three tissues. To further explore CBN-induced brain alterations, Raman microspectroscopy analysis of lipid extracts was conducted. Marked lipid alterations are observed with males responding differently to females; in addition, there also appears to be consistent elevations in global genomic methylation. This latter observation is most profound in female zebrafish brain tissues post-exposure to short MWCNTs or SWCNTs (P <0.05). This study demonstrates that even at low levels, CBNs are capable of inducing significant cellular and genomic modifications in a range of tissues. Such alterations could result in modified susceptibility to other influences such as environmental exposures, pathology and, in the case of brain, developmental alterations.