Molecular toxicity and defense mechanisms induced by silver nanoparticles in Drosophila melanogaster

Xing Wang , Zhidi Wang , Liying Zhang


Received September 30, 2021,Revised , Accepted December 22, 2021, Available online January 03, 2022

Volume 35,2023,Pages 616-629

The widely use of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) as antimicrobial agents gives rise to potential environmental risks. AgNPs exposure have been reported to cause toxicity in animals. Nevertheless, the known mechanisms of AgNPs toxicity are still limited. In this study, we systematically investigated the toxicity of AgNPs exposure using Drosophila melanogaster. We show here that AgNPs significantly decreased Drosophila fecundity, the third-instar larvae weight and rates of pupation and eclosion in a dose-dependent manner. AgNPs reduced fat body cell viability in MTT (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide) assays. AgNPs caused DNA damage in hemocytes and S2 cells. Interestingly, the mRNA levels of the entire metallothionein gene family were increased under AgNPs exposure as determined by RNA-seq analysis and validated by qRT-PCR, indicating that Drosophila responded to the metal toxicity of AgNPs by producing metallothioneins for detoxification. These findings provide a better understanding of the mechanisms of AgNPs toxicity and may provide clues to effect on other organisms, including humans.

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