Antagonistic in vivo interaction of polystyrene nanoplastics and silver compounds. A study using Drosophila

Mohamed Alaraby, Doaa Abass, Aliro Villacorta, Alba Hernandez Bonilla, Ricardo Marcos Dauder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Downloads (Pure)


Since heavy metals and micro−/nanoplastics (MNPLs) can share common environmental niches, their potential interactions could modulate their hazard impacts. The current study was planned to evaluate the potential interactions between silver compounds (silver nanoparticles or silver nitrate) and two different sizes of polystyrene nanoplastics (PSNPLs) (PS-50 and PS-500 nm), administered via ingestion to Drosophila larvae. While egg-to-adult survival was not affected by the exposure to silver compounds, PSNPLs, or their coexposures, the combined treatments succeeded to restore the delay of fly emergence induced by silver compounds. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) showed the ability of PSNPLs to transport silver compounds (regardless of their form) across the intestinal barrier, delivering them into the hemolymph of Drosophila larvae in a concentration exceeding that mediated by the exposure to silver compounds alone. The molecular response (gene expression) of Drosophila larvae greatly fluctuated, accordingly if exposures were administered alone or in combination. Although PSNPLs produced some oxidative stress in the hemocytes of Drosophila, especially at the highest dose (1 mM), higher levels were observed after silver exposure, regardless of its form. Interestingly, the oxidative stress of silver, especially that produced by nano‑silver, drastically decreased when coexposed with PSNPLs. Similar effects were observed regarding the DNA damage induced in Drosophila hemocytes, where cotreatment decreased the genotoxicity induced by silver compounds. This antagonistic interaction could be attributed to the ability of tiny plastic specks to confine silver, avoiding its bioavailability, and diminishing their potential impacts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number156923
Pages (from-to)156923
Number of pages12
JournalScience of the total environment
Publication statusPublished - 10 Oct 2022


  • Carriers
  • Oxidative stress
  • Size
  • Genotoxicity
  • Antagonistic interaction
  • Polystyrene
  • Drosophila melanogaster
  • Silver nanoparticles
  • Uptake
  • Nanoplastics
  • Silver/toxicity
  • Silver Nitrate
  • Drosophila
  • Metal Nanoparticles/toxicity
  • Nanoparticles/toxicity
  • Microplastics/toxicity
  • Animals
  • Polystyrenes/toxicity


Dive into the research topics of 'Antagonistic in vivo interaction of polystyrene nanoplastics and silver compounds. A study using Drosophila'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this