Titanium dioxide nanoparticles enhanced thyroid endocrine disruption of pentachlorophenol rather than neurobehavioral defects in zebrafish larvae


This study investigated the influences of titanium dioxide nanoparticles (n-TiO2) on the thyroid endocrine disruption and neurobehavioral defects induced by pentachlorophenol (PCP) in zebrafish (Danio rerio). Embryos (2 h post-fertilization) were exposed to PCP (0, 3, 10, and 30 μg/L) or in combination with n-TiO2 (0.1 mg/L) until 6 days post-fertilization. The results showed that n-TiO2 alone did not affect thyroid hormones levels or transcriptions of related genes. Exposure to PCP significantly decreased thyroid hormone thyroxine (T4) content, thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) level and transcription of thyroglobulin (tg), but significantly increased 3,5,3′-triiodothyronine (T3) level and upregulation of deiodinase 2 (dio2). In comparison, the co-exposure with n-TiO2 significantly reduced the content of T3 by depressing the potential targets, tg and dio2. For neurotoxicity, the single and co-exposure resulted in similar effects with significant downregulation of neurodevelopment-related genes (ELAV like RNA Binding Protein 3, elavl3; Growth associated protein-43, gap43α-tubulin) and inhibited locomotor activity. The results indicated that the presence of n-TiO2 significantly enhanced the PCP-induced thyroid endocrine disruption but not the neurobehavioral defects in zebrafish larvae.