This study evaluated the effect of a short-term exposure to 45 nm polymethylmethacrylate nanoplastics (PMMA-NPs) on the gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata), by assessing biomarkers at different levels of biological organization in liver and plasma. Fish were exposed via water to PMMA-NPs (0, 0.001, 0.01, 0.1, 1 and 10 mg L−1) and sampled after 24 and 96 h. Results showed a general up-regulation of mRNA levels of key genes associated with lipid metabolism (e.g. apolipoprotein A1 and retinoid X receptor). Together with the modulation of the lipid pathway genes we also found a global increase in cholesterol and triglycerides in plasma. Antioxidant-related genes (e.g. glutathione peroxidase 1) were also up-regulated after 24 h of exposure, but their expression levels returned to control afterwards. Total antioxidant capacity (TAC) was increased throughout the experiment, however at 96 h the antioxidant capacity became less efficient, reflected by an increase in the total oxidative status (TOS). Concomitantly, we found an increase in the erythrocytic nuclear abnormalities (ENAs) throughout the trial. Altogether, PMMA-NPs activated the organism's antioxidant defenses and induced alterations in lipid metabolism pathways and genotoxicity in the blood cells of gilthead seabream.
- Gene expression
- Gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata)
- Lipid metabolism
- Nanoplastics (NPs)