Effects of titanium dioxide nanoparticles exposure on parkinsonism in zebrafish larvae and PC12


Nanomaterials hold significant potential for industrial and biomedical application these years. Therefore, the relationship between nanoparticles and neurodegenerative disease is of enormous interest. In this contribution, zebrafish embryos and PC12 cell lines were selected for studying neurotoxicity of titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO2 NPs). After exposure of different concentrations of TiO2 NPs to embryos from fertilization to 96 hpf, the hatching time of zebrafish was decreased, accompanied by an increase in malformation rate. However, no significant increases in mortality relative to control were observed. These results indicated that TiO2 NPs exposure hold a risk for premature of zebrafish embryos, but not fatal. The further investigation confirmed that TiO2 NPs could accumulate in the brain of zebrafish larvae, resulting in reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and cell death of hypothalamus. Meanwhile, q-PCR analysis showed that TiO2 NPs exposure increased the pink1, parkin, α-syn and uchl1 gene expression, which are related with the formation of Lewy bodies. We also observed loss of dopaminergic neurons in zebrafish and in vitro. These remarkable hallmarks are all linked to these Parkinson's disease (PD) symptoms. Our results indicate that TiO2NPs exposure induces neurotoxicity in vivo and in vitro, which poses a significant risk factor for the development of PD.