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Environ Sci Technol. 2018 Oct 2;52(19):11411-11418. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.8b03211. Epub 2018 Sep 14.

Nanoplastic Ingestion Enhances Toxicity of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in the Monogonont Rotifer Brachionus koreanus via Multixenobiotic Resistance (MXR) Disruption.

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Department of Biological Science, College of Science , Sungkyunkwan University , Suwon 16419 , South Korea.
Pathology Division , National Institute of Fisheries Science , Busan 46083 , South Korea.
Key Laboratory of the Ministry of Education for Coastal and Wetland Ecosystems/College of the Environment & Ecology , Xiamen University , Xiamen 361102 , China.


Among the various materials found inside microplastic pollution, nanosized microplastics are of particular concern due to difficulties in quantification and detection; moreover, they are predicted to be abundant in aquatic environments with stronger toxicity than microsized microplastics. Here, we demonstrated a stronger accumulation of nanosized microbeads in the marine rotifer Brachionus koreanus compared to microsized ones, which was associated with oxidative stress-induced damages on lipid membranes. In addition, multixenobiotic resistance conferred by P-glycoproteins and multidrug resistance proteins, as a first line of membrane defense, was inhibited by nanoplastic pre-exposure, leading to enhanced toxicity of 2,2',4,4'-tetrabromodiphenyl ether and triclosan in B. koreanus. Our study provides a molecular mechanistic insight into the toxicity of nanosized microplastics toward aquatic invertebrates and further implies the significance of synergetic effects of microplastics with other environmental persistent organic pollutants.


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