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Rainbow trout maintain intestinal transport and barrier functions following exposure to polystyrene microplastics.

Journal article
Authors Giedrė Ašmonaitė
Henrik Sundh
Noomi Asker
Bethanie Carney Almroth
Published in Environmental science & technology
ISSN 1520-5851
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.8b04848
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.f...
Subject categories Animal physiology, Environmental toxicology

Abstract

Ingestion has been proposed as a prominent exposure route for plastic debris in aquatic organisms, including fish. While the consequences of ingestion of large plastic litter are mostly understood, the impacts resulting from microplastics (MPs) are largely unknown. We designed a study aimed to assess impacts of MPs on fish intestinal physiology and examined integrity of extrinsic, physical and immunological barriers. Rainbow trout were exposed to polystyrene (PS) MPs (100-400 µm) via feed for a period of 4 weeks. Fish were fed four types of diets: control, diets containing virgin PS particles, or particles exposed to two different environmental matrices (sewage or harbor effluent). Extrinsic barrier disturbance in intestinal tissue was evaluated via histology. The paracellular permeability towards ions and molecules was examined using Ussing chambers and mRNA expression analysis of tight junction proteins. Active transport was monitored as transepithelial potential difference, short-circuits current and uptake rate of amino acid 3H-lysine. Immune status parameters were measured through mRNA expression level of cytokines, lysozyme activity, and hematological analysis of immune cells. We could not show that PS MPs induced inflammatory responses or acted as physical and/or chemical hazards upon ingestion and exerted no measurable effects on intestinal permeability, active transport or electrophysiology.

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