Evaluation of oxidative stress biomarkers and acetylcholinesterase activity in Gammarus pseudosyriacus exposed to nanosilver

Document Type : Original Article


The extensive use of nanoparticles in a variety of applications has raised great concerns regarding their
biological effects and environmental fate. Silver nanoparticle, often referred to as nanosilver (n-Ag), may
cause health problems because of its wide and ever growing use in many applications. n-Ag is used in
treatments of wounds, disinfection of water and/or air and coatings textiles. n-Ag is shows toxic effects
only when oxidized to silver ions (Ag+). There is a limited knowledge concerning environmental and
health consequences of exposure to n-Ag. In the current study, we aimed to evaluate the potential ecotoxicity
of n-Ag for freshwater crustacean model organism, Gammarus pseudosyriacus.
Three low concentration solutions of n-Ag (2.5, 5 and 7.5 ppm) were used over a period of 96 hr. The
concentrations of n-Ag used in this study are not environmentally relevant but provide a model system to
examine its ecotoxicity.
It was revealed that n-Ag imposes a severe lipid peroxidation (LPO/MDA) in Gammarus whole body
extract. In addition, the activity of some antioxidant enzymes changed. Catalase (CAT) activity was
decreased and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activity significantly increased. Acetylcholinesterase (AChE)
activity was also markedly decreased. An abnormal vigorous movement was observed among animals.
Briefly, n-Ag was found highly toxic to aquatic organisms and has the potential to exert a strong oxidative
stress, leading to altered physiological state.