Silver exposure in developing zebrafish produces persistent synaptic and behavioral changes.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

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.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Powers, CM; Levin, ED; Seidler, FJ; Slotkin, TA

Published Date

  • 2011

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 33 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 329 - 332

PubMed ID

  • 21035540

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC3071894

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1872-9738

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States