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The potential impacts of nanomaterials (NMs) on fetal development have attracted great concerns because of the increased potential exposure to NMs during pregnancy. Drosophila melanogaster oogenesis and developmental transitions may provide an attractive system to study the biological and environmental effects of NMs on the embryonic development. In this study, the effects of three types of magnetite (Fe3O4) nanoparticles (MNPs): UN-MNPs (pristine), CA-MNPs (citric acid modified) and APTS-MNPs (3-aminopropyltriethoxylsilane coated) on the development of Drosophila at 300 and 600 μg/g dosage were studied. The uptake of MNPs by female and male flies caused obvious reduction in the female fecundity, and the developmental delay at the egg-pupae and pupae-adult transitions, especially in those treated by the positive APTS-MNPs. Further investigation demonstrates that the parental uptake of MNPs disturbs the oogenesis period, induces ovarian defect, reduces the length of eggs, decreases the number of nurse cells and delays egg chamber development, which may contribute to the decrease of fecundity of female Drosophila and the development delay of their offspring. Using the synchrotron radiation-based micro-X-ray fluorescence (SR-μXRF), the dyshomeostasis of trace elements such as Fe, Ca and Cu along the anterior-posterior axis of the fertilized eggs was found, which may be an important reason for the development delay of Drosophila.


Hanqing Chen, Bing Wang, Weiyue Feng, Wei Du, Hong Ouyang, Zhifang Chai, Xiaolin Bi. Oral magnetite nanoparticles disturb the development of Drosophila melanogaster from oogenesis to adult emergence. Nanotoxicology. 2015 May;9(3):302-12

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PMID: 24964248

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