Exposure of juvenile turbot (Scophthalmus maximus) to AgNP-EE2 mixtures: Implications on contaminant bioavailability and plasma steroid hormone levels
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionEnvironmental Pollution. 2017, 220 328-336. 10.1016/j.envpol.2016.09.067
Combined exposure to engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) and anthropogenic contaminants can lead to changes in bioavailability, uptake and thus effects of both groups of contaminants. In this study we investigated effects of single and combined exposures of silver (Ag) nanoparticles (AgNPs) and the synthetic hormone 17α-ethinylestradiol (EE2) on tissue uptake of both contaminants in juvenile turbot (Scophthalmus maximus). Silver uptake and tissue distribution (gills, liver, kidney, stomach, muscle and bile) were analyzed following a 14-day, 2-h daily pulsed exposure to AgNPs (2 μg L−1 and 200 μg L−1), Ag+ (50 μg L−1), EE2 (50 ng L−1) and AgNP + EE2 (2 or 200 μg L−1+50 ng L−1). Effects of the exposures on plasma vitellogenin (Vtg) levels, EE2 and steroid hormone concentrations were investigated. The AgNP and AgNP + EE2 exposures resulted in similar Ag concentrations in the tissues, indicating that combined exposure did not influence Ag uptake in tissues. The highest Ag concentrations were found in gills. For the Ag+ exposed fish, the highest Ag concentrations were measured in the liver. Our results show dissolution processes of AgNPs in seawater, indicating that the tissue concentrations of Ag may partly originate from ionic release. Plasma EE2 concentrations and Vtg induction were similar in fish exposed to the single contaminants and the mixed contaminants, indicating that the presence of AgNPs did not significantly alter EE2 uptake. Similarly, concentrations of most steroid hormones were not significantly altered due to exposures to the combined contaminants versus the single compound exposures. However, high concentrations of AgNPs in combination with EE2 caused a drop of estrone (E1) (female fish) and androstenedione (AN) (male and female fish) levels in plasma below quantification limits. Our results indicate that the interactive effects between AgNPs and EE2 are limited, with only high concentrations of AgNPs triggering synergistic effects on plasma steroid hormone concentrations in juvenile turbots.