Titanium dioxide nanoparticles promote histopathological and genotoxic effects in Danio rerio after acute and chronic exposures





Intestine, Liver, Micronucleus test, Nanotoxicology, Zebrafish


Titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO2-NPs) are among the most used nanomaterials worldwide, but studies evaluating its genotoxicity and histopathological effects are scarce, dealing with short exposure times and low concentrations for human use. The aim was to evaluate TiO2-NPs genotoxicity and histological alterations in the intestine and liver of zebrafish after exposure to human consumption compatible concentrations. Fishes were acutely (96 hours) and chronically (30 days) exposed to 5.0, 20 and 40 mg L-1 of TiO2-NPs and later euthanized for organ and blood analysis through histological procedures and the micronucleus test, respectively. An increase in the thickness of intestinal villi was observed after acute and chronic exposure in the higher concentrations. The liver showed an increase in vacuolated hepatocytes after both exposures, besides an increase in hepatocytes with peripheral nucleus. Genotoxicity was only observed after chronic exposure, demonstrated by the increase in micronucleus and cell buddings. These findings indicate that TiO2-NPs cause histopathological damage even in acute exposures, as the intestine serves as a barrier for NPs and the liver is an organ that accumulates Ti. Genotoxicity was possibly mediated by reactive oxygen species through chronic inflammation, leading to tissue damage and carcinogenesis in longer exposures that represents human exposure time.


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Author Biographies

Juliana Machado Kayser, Universidade Feevale, Novo Hamburgo, RS, Brasil

Graduated in Biomedicine from Feevale University (2020) and Master's Student (CAPES Scholarship) in Toxicology and Toxicological Analysis from the same institution.

Andriéli Carolina Schuster, Universidade Feevale, Novo Hamburgo, RS, Brasil

Master's student in Toxicology and Toxicological Analysis at Feevale University (2021 - 2023). Degree in Nutrition from the same university (2020).

Gabriela Zimmermann Prado Rodrigues, Universidade Feevale, Novo Hamburgo, RS, Brasil

Graduated in Biomedicine from Feevale University (2015), Master and Doctor (CAPES Scholarship) in Environmental Quality from the same institution. Professor in the Biomedicine and Veterinary Medicine courses at Centro Universitário CESUCA, and coordinator of the Ethics Committee on Animal Use (CEUA) of the institution.

Fernando Dal Pont Morisso, Universidade Feevale, Novo Hamburgo, RS, Brasil

Holds a degree in Chemistry and a Licentiate in Chemistry from the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul (1995), a Master’s in Chemistry from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (1999) and a PhD in Chemistry from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (2003) in the area of organic chemistry, sub-area of organic synthesis. Is currently a professor of Pharmacy and Chemical Engineering at Feevale University and is a permanent professor in the Professional Postgraduate Program in Materials and Industrial Processes Technology.

Günther Gehlen, Universidade Feevale, Novo Hamburgo, RS, Brasil

Holds a degree in Biological Sciences from UFRGS (1998), a Master's degree in Biological Sciences (Biochemistry) from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (2002) and a PhD in Neurosciences from UFRGS (2009). Is currently an adjunct professor at Feevale University and a member of the PPG-Environmental Quality at this University.


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2022-05-23 — Updated on 2022-05-31


How to Cite

Machado Kayser, J., Carolina Schuster, A., Zimmermann Prado Rodrigues, G., Dal Pont Morisso, F., & Gehlen, G. (2022). Titanium dioxide nanoparticles promote histopathological and genotoxic effects in Danio rerio after acute and chronic exposures. Ciência E Natura, 44, e19. https://doi.org/10.5902/2179460X67963 (Original work published May 23, 2022)

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