Histopathological effects of metal and metalic nanoparticles on the body systems of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)
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Histopathology studies of metal nanoparticles (NPs) compared to traditional forms of metal in fish are scarce. Additionally, it is unclear whether metal nanoparticles cause greater or different pathologies compared to other forms of metal. The current study aimed to assess the pathological effects of Cu-NPs and TiO2 NPs on rainbow trout via various routes of exposure and, where appropriate, to compare them to either the equivalent dissolved metal salts or bulk powder forms. The first experiment showed that waterborne exposure to Cu-NPs and CuSO4 caused similar types of organ pathologies and alteration in the spleen content, however there were some material-type effects in the incidence injuries; with Cu-NPs in some organs by causing more injury in the intestine, liver, and brain when compared to effects caused by the equivalent concentration of CuSO4. Lowering water pH did have an effect on the toxicity of Cu-NPs and dissolved Cu in trout, and the results illustrated that both Cu treatments are more toxic at pH 5 than pH 7 by causing more physiological and pathological changes, although both CuSO4 and Cu-NP treatments showed similar types of organ lesions. Waterborne exposure to TiO2 NPs and bulk forms of TiO2 showed similar types of organ pathologies and alteration in the spleen contents, but there was a material-type effect in some organs (more injury with the bulk treatment than the NP form). After 96 h following intravenous injections of bulk or TiO2 NPs in trout, organs showed similar types of pathologies; except the spleen and kidney which showed a material-type effects (more injury with NPs than the bulk forms). This could be attributed to the highest Ti accumulation from the TiO2 NP treatment in the kidney and spleens, or to the role of these organs in filtrating the circulating blood. Overall, this thesis demonstrates that metal-NPs produced similar types of organ pathologies to traditional forms of metals through different routes of exposure, but there were some material-type effects on the incidence of injuries in some organs. The results have also added some understanding on the fate, and effects of NPs by identifying the target organs involved. Some of the nano-specific effects may need to be given extra consideration in environmental and human health risk assessments.
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