The use of nanoparticulate silver (AgNP) is increasingly widespread and recently has been shown to have a plausible release route into aquatic environments. To date, relatively little research has examined the effects of AgNP on estuarine fish. The authors present data indicating that chronic exposure to low levels of AgNP induces significant adverse effects in both juvenile and adult sheepshead minnows (Cyprinodon variegarus; SHMs). Chronic exposure to low levels of AgNP produced significant increases in tissue burdens in both juvenile and adult SHMs, resulting in significant thickening of epithelia gill tissue and in dramatically altered gene expression profiles. The results do not appear to be attributable to the release of silver ions through particle dissolution. The alteration in gene expression was greatest in adult gonads, but no evidence of AgNP-related dysfunction was found at the tissue level. In contrast, the authors found a significant effect on gill morphology, but very little evidence of effect on gill transcription profiles. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 2012;31:160–167. © 2011 SETAC
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