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Exploring the Toxicity of a Bismuth–Asparagine Coordination Polymer on the Early Development of Zebrafish Embryos

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journal contribution
posted on 18.01.2013, 00:00 by Ningning He, Xiang Li, Daofu Feng, Ming Wu, Rui Chen, Tiehong Chen, Dongyan Chen, Xizeng Feng
Nanoparticles are widely used in nanomedicine, raising concerns about their toxicity. In this study, the toxicity of bismuth–asparagine coordination polymer spheres (BACP-2) was assessed in zebrafish embryos. Injection of 1–4 cell stage embryos with BACP-2 resulted in smaller head size (particularly smaller eye size), shorter body length, and pericardial edemas. The severity and occurrence of the resulting phenotype were concentration-dependent. The expression of genes such as krox20, orthodenticle homeobox 2 (otx2), and cardiac myosin light chain-2 (cmlc2) indicates that the effects of BACP-2 on the head and heart were related to changes in gene expression patterns. A delay in epiboly was observed, and the expression levels of the no tail (ntl) gene indicated that the delay in epiboly resulted both from the effect of BACP-2 on cell migration during epiboly and from slow growth. These findings indicate that BACP-2 exhibits concentration-dependent developmental toxicity, providing insight into the nanotoxicity of bismuth derivatives, which must be rigorously evaluated with respect to toxicity before their application in nanomedicine.