Nanotoxicological and teratogenic effects: A linkage between dendrimer surface charge and zebrafish developmental stages

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Abstract

This article reports novel results about nanotoxicological and teratogenic effects of the PAMAM dendrimers DG4 and DG4.5 in zebrafish (Danio rerio). Zebrafish embryos and larvae were used as a rapid, high-throughput, cost-effective whole-animal model. The objective was to provide a more comprehensive and predictive developmental toxicity screening of DG4 and DG4.5 and test the influence of their surface charge. Nanotoxicological and teratogenic effects were assessed at developmental, morphological, cardiac, neurological and hepatic level. The effect of surface charge was determined in both larvae and embryos. DG4 with positive surface charge was more toxic;than DG4.5 with negative surface charge. DG4 and DG4.5 induced teratogenic effects in larvae, whereas DG4 also induced lethal effects in both zebrafish embryos and larvae. However, larvae were less sensitive than embryos to the lethal effects of DG4. The platform of assays proposed and data obtained may contribute to the characterization of hazards and differential effects of these nanoparticles.

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