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Toxicity-based toxicokinetic/toxicodynamic assessment of bioaccumulation and nanotoxicity of zerovalent iron nanoparticles in Caenorhabditis elegans

Authors Yang YF, Lin YJ, Liao CM

Received 4 April 2017

Accepted for publication 30 May 2017

Published 26 June 2017 Volume 2017:12 Pages 4607—4621

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S138790

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Farooq Shiekh

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Lei Yang


Ying-Fei Yang, Yi-Jun Lin, Chung-Min Liao

Department of Bioenvironmental Systems Engineering, College of Bioresources and Agriculture, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan

Abstract: Elucidating the relationships between the toxicity-based-toxicokinetic (TBTK)/toxicodynamic (TD) properties of engineered nanomaterials and their nanotoxicity is crucial for human health-risk analysis. Zerovalent iron (Fe0) nanoparticles (NPs) are one of the most prominent NPs applied in remediating contaminated soils and groundwater. However, there are concerns that Fe0NP application contributes to long-term environmental and human health impacts. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a surrogate in vivo model that has been successfully applied to assess the potential nanotoxicity of these nanomaterials. Here we present a TBTK/TD approach to appraise bioaccumulation and nanotoxicity of Fe0NPs in C. elegans. Built on a present C. elegans bioassay with estimated TBTK/TD parameters, we found that average bioconcentration factors in C. elegans exposed to waterborne and food-borne Fe0NPs were ~50 and ~5×10–3, respectively, whereas 10% inhibition concentrations for fertility, locomotion, and development, were 1.26 (95% CI 0.19–5.2), 3.84 (0.38–42), and 6.78 (2.58–21) µg·g–1, respectively, implicating that fertility is the most sensitive endpoint in C. elegans. Our results also showed that biomagnification effects were not observed in waterborne or food-borne Fe0NP-exposed worms. We suggest that the TBTK/TD assessment for predicting NP-induced toxicity at different concentrations and conditions in C. elegans could enable rapid selection of nanomaterials that are more likely to be nontoxic in larger animals. We conclude that the use of the TBTK/TD scheme manipulating C. elegans could be used for rapid evaluation of in vivo toxicity of NPs or for drug screening in the field of nanomedicine.

Keywords: zerovalent iron nanoparticles, Caenorhabditis elegans, nanotoxicology, bioaccumulation, toxicity-based-toxicokinetic/toxicodynamic modeling

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