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Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2011 Dec 15;257(3):429-36. doi: 10.1016/j.taap.2011.09.027. Epub 2011 Oct 8.

The effect of TiO(2) and Ag nanoparticles on reproduction and development of Drosophila melanogaster and CD-1 mice.

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School of Environmental Studies, Biosciences Complex, Queen's University, 116 Barrie Street, Kingston, Ontario, Canada K7L 3N6.


In the last two decades, nanoparticles (NPs) have found applications in a wide variety of consumer goods. Titanium dioxide (TiO(2)) and silver (Ag) NPs are both found in cosmetics and foods, but their increasing use is of concern due to their ability to be taken up by biological systems. While there are some reports of TiO(2) and Ag NPs affecting complex organisms, their effects on reproduction and development have been largely understudied. Here, the effects of orally administered TiO(2) or Ag NPs on reproduction and development in two different model organisms were investigated. TiO(2) NPs reduced the developmental success of CD-1 mice after a single oral dose of 100 or 1000 mg/kg to dams, resulting in a statistically significant increase in fetal deformities and mortality. Similarly, TiO(2) NP addition to food led to a significant progeny loss in the fruit fly, Drosophila, as shown by a decline in female fecundity. Ag NP administration resulted in an increase in the mortality of fetal mice. Similarly in Drosophila, Ag NP feeding led to a significant decrease in developmental success, but unlike TiO(2) NP treatment, there was no decline in fecundity. The distinct response associated with each type of NP likely reflects differences in NP administration as well as the biology of the particular model. Taken together, however, this study warns that these common NPs could be detrimental to the reproductive and developmental health of both invertebrates and vertebrates.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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