3 years ago

High-throughput transcriptomics: Insights into the pathways involved in (nano) nickel toxicity in a key invertebrate test species

Susana I.l. Gomes, Carlos P. Roca, Janeck J. Scott-fordsmand, Mónica J.b. Amorim

Publication date: February 2019

Source: Environmental Pollution, Volume 245

Author(s): Susana I.L. Gomes, Carlos P. Roca, Janeck J. Scott-Fordsmand, Mónica J.B. Amorim


Nickel nanoparticles (NiNPs) have an estimated production of ca. 20 tons per year in the US. Nickel has been risk-assessed for long in Europe, but not NiNPs, hence the concern for the environment. In the present study, we focused on investigating the mechanisms of toxicity of NiNPs and the comparison to NiNO3. The high-throughput microarray for the soil ecotox model Enchytraeus crypticus (Oligochaeta) was used. To anchor gene to phenotype effect level, organisms were exposed to reproduction effect concentrations EC20 and EC50, for 3 and 7 days. Results showed commonly affected pathways between NiNPs and NiNO3, including increase in proteolysis, apoptosis and inflammatory response, and interference with the nervous system. Mechanisms unique to NiNO3 were also observed (e.g. glutathione synthesis). No specific mechanisms for NiNPs were found, which could indicate that longer exposure period (>7 days) is required to capture the peak response to NiNPs. A mechanisms scheme is assembled, showing both common and unique mechanisms to NiNO3 and NiNPs, providing an important framework for further, more targeted, studies.

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