Silver exposure in developing zebrafish produces persistent synaptic and behavioral changes.
Environmental silver exposures are increasing due to the use of silver nanoparticles, which exert antimicrobial actions by releasing Ag+, a suspected developmental neurotoxicant. We evaluated the long-term neurochemical and behavioral effects of embryonic Ag+ exposure in zebrafish at concentrations that had no overt effects on morphological development. Exposure to 0.03, 0.1 or 0.3 μM Ag+ during the first five days post-fertilization caused elevations in both dopamine and serotonin turnover in the adult zebrafish brain without affecting basal neurotransmitter levels. Consistent with these synaptic effects, Ag+-exposed fish showed a faster acquisition of avoidance behavior in a three-chamber test apparatus, without any change in response latency or overall swimming ability. Our results indicate that Ag+ is a developmental neurotoxicant that causes persistent neurobehavioral effects, reinforcing health concerns about Ag+ released from silver nanoparticles.
Powers, CM; Levin, ED; Seidler, FJ; Slotkin, TA
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