Investigating the effects of nanoparticles on reproduction and development in Drosophila melanogaster and CD-1 mice.
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Manufactured nanoparticles (NPs) are a class of small ( ≤ 100 nm) materials that are being used for a variety of purposes, including industrial lubricants, food additives, antibacterial agents, as well as delivery systems for drug and gene therapies. Their unique characteristics due to their small size as well as their parent materials allow them to be exploited in convenience applications; however, some of these properties also allow them to interact with and invade biological systems. Few studies have been performed to determine the potential harm that NPs can inflict on reproductive and developmental processes in organisms. In this study, Drosophila melanogaster and CD-1 mice were orally exposed to varying doses of titanium dioxide (TiO2) NPs, silver (Ag) NPs, or hydroxyl-functionalized carbon nanotubes (fCNTs) and Drosophila were also exposed to microparticles (MPs) as a control for particle size. The subsequent effect of these materials on reproduction and development were evaluated. Strikingly, each type of NP studied negatively affected either reproduction or development in one or both of the two model systems. TiO2 NPs significantly negative effected both CD-1 mouse development (100 mg/kg or 1000 mg/kg) as well as Drosophila female fecundity (0.005%-0.5% w/v). Ag NPs significantly reduced mouse fetus viability after prenatal exposure to10 mg/kg. Ag NPs also significantly decreased the developmental success of Drosophila when they were directly exposed to these NPs (0.05% - 0.5% w/v) compared to both the vehicle and MP controls. fCNTs significantly increased the presence of morphological defects, resorptions and skeletal abnormalities in CD-1 mice, but had little effect on Drosophila. We speculate that the differences seen in the effects of NP types may be partially due to differences in reproductive physiology as well as each organism’s ability to internalize these NPs. Whereas the differing response of each organism to a NP type was likely due in part to varying durations of exposure. Since NPs are a popular commodity in today’s consumer world, the research presented here accentuates the need for further studies on the detrimental effects that these particles may have on a variety of developing organisms and on female reproductive health.