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Redox Activity and Nano–Bio Interactions Determine the Skin Injury Potential of Co3O4‑Based Metal Oxide Nanoparticles toward Zebrafish

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journal contribution
posted on 24.03.2020, 11:04 by Guotao Peng, Yuan He, Xiaoxiao Wang, Yan Cheng, Haiyuan Zhang, Kai Savolainen, Lutz Mädler, Suman Pokhrel, Sijie Lin
Redox-active metal oxide nanoparticles show varying oxidizing capacities and injury potentials toward biological systems. Here, two metal oxide libraries including transition-metal-doped Co3O4 and PdO-Co3O4 with strong chemical contacts were design-synthesized and used to investigate their biological injury potential and mechanisms using zebrafish as a model organism. Among different dopants, Cu significantly increased the oxidizing capacity of Co3O4. An increased amount of PdO resulted in higher density of heterojunctions, which also led to higher oxidizing capacity. The oxidizing capacity of these nanoparticles was positively correlated with higher mortality of dechorionated embryos and severe larval skin injury upon exposure. Using transgenic zebrafish Tg(LysC:eGFP), we show in real time that the redox-active nanoparticles induced skin injury and activated the infiltration of immune cells. Such inflammatory response was confirmed by the increased mRNA expression level of Nrf2a, HO-1, IL-1β, and IL-6 genes. Although the exposure to the nanoparticles alone was not lethal, the skin injury did lower the tolerance level against other environmental contaminants. More importantly, after withdrawing from the nanoparticle exposure, larvae with skin injury could recover within 24 h in uncontaminated medium, indicating such injury was transient and recoverable.