The uptake and elimination of ZnO and CuO nanoparticles in Daphnia magna under chronic exposure scenarios.Water Res. 2015 Jan 01; 68:249-61.WR
In this study, the uptake and elimination of ZnO and CuO nanoparticles in Daphnia magna was tested. Daphnids were exposed during 10 days to sublethal concentrations of ZnO and CuO nanoparticles and corresponding metal salts (ZnCl₂ and CuCl₂.2H₂O), after which they were transferred to unexposed medium for another 10 days. At different times during the exposure and none-exposure, the total and internal zinc or copper concentration of the daphnids was determined and the nanoparticles were localized in the organism using electron microscopy. The exposure concentrations were characterized by measuring the dissolved, nanoparticle and aggregated fraction in the medium. The results showed that the ZnO nanoparticles quickly dissolved after addition to the medium. Contrarily, only a small fraction (corresponding to the dissolved metal salt) of the CuO nanoparticles dissolved, while most of these nanoparticles formed large aggregates. Despite an initial increase in zinc and copper concentration during the first 48 h to 5 day exposure, the body concentration reached a plateau level that was comparable for the ZnO nanoparticles and ZnCl₂, but much higher for the CuO nanoparticles (with visible aggregates accumulating in the gut) than CuCl₂.2H₂O. During the remaining exposure and subsequent none-exposure phase, the zinc and copper concentration decreased fast to concentrations comparable with the unexposed daphnids. The results indicate that D. magna can regulate its internal zinc and copper concentration after exposure to ZnO and CuO nanoparticles, similar as after exposure to metal salts. The combined dissolution, accumulation and toxicity results confirm that the toxicity of ZnO and CuO nanoparticles is caused by the dissolved fraction.