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Comparative tissue distribution and depuration characteristics of copper nanoparticles and soluble copper in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)

Lindh, Stina, Razmara, Parastoo, Bogart, Sarah, Pyle, Gregory
Environmental toxicology and chemistry 2019 v.38 no.1 pp. 80-89
Oncorhynchus mykiss, copper, copper nanoparticles, copper sulfate, fish, gills, intestines, kidneys, liver, tissue distribution, toxicity
The continuously growing number of products containing nanoparticles (NPs) makes their presence in the environment inevitable, and given the well‐known toxicity of dissolved metals, concerns regarding the toxicity of metal‐based NPs have been raised. Whether metal‐based NPs present similar or different toxicological effects compared with metal salts is an emerging field. In the present study, rainbow trout were intraperitoneally injected with CuSO₄ or copper NPs (CuNPs) to investigate tissue distribution and depuration characteristics. Fish injected with Cu showed an initial accumulation of Cu in the liver, kidney, gills, intestine, and carcass. The Cu concentration in the liver of CuNP‐injected fish increased over time. It appears as though CuNPs accumulated in the liver at a greater rate than they were excreted. In livers of fish injected with CuSO₄, the Cu concentration appeared to increase and reach an equilibrium, suggesting that copper was accumulated and excreted at the same rate. The possibility that CuNPs can accumulate at a higher rate than it is excreted in the liver warrants further investigation. The present study demonstrates the possibility of dietary uptake of CuNPs because elevated Cu concentrations were observed in carcass, gills, kidney, and intestine of fish gavaged with CuNPs. In conclusion, the results suggest that dietary CuNPs are taken up by the gut and preferentially accumulate in the liver. Environ Toxicol Chem 2019;38:80–89. © 2018 SETAC