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Keywords:

  • TiO2 nanoparticle;
  • rutile;
  • anatase;
  • trout erythrocyte;
  • hemolysis;
  • DNA damage and repair

TiO2 has been widely used to promote organic compounds degradation on waste aqueous solution, however, data on TiO2 nanotoxicity to aquatic life are still limited. In this in vitro study, we compare the toxicity of two different families of TiO2 nanoparticles on erythrocytes from Oncorhynchus mykiss trout. The crystal structure of the two TiO2 nanoparticles was analyzed by XRD and the results indicated that one sample is composed of TiO2 in the anatase crystal phase, while the other sample contains a mixture of both the anatase and the rutile forms of TiO2 in a 2:8 ratio. Further characterization of the two families of TiO2 nanoparticles was determined by SEM high resolution images and BET technique. The toxicity results indicate that both TiO2 nanoparticles increase the hemolysis rate in a dose dependent way (1.6, 3.2, 4.8 μg mL−1) but they do not influence superoxide anion production due to NADH addition measured by chemiluminescence. Moreover, TiO2 nanoparticles (4.8 μg mL−1) induce DNA damage and the entity of the damage is independent from the type of TiO2 nanoparticles used. Modified comet assay (Endo III and Fpg) shows that TiO2 oxidizes not only purine but also pyrimidine bases. In our experimental conditions, the exposure to TiO2 nanoparticles does not affect the DNA repair system functionality. The data obtained contribute to better characterize the aqueous environmental risks linked to TiO2 nanoparticles exposure. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Environ Toxicol 29: 117–127, 2014.