Molecular & Cellular Toxicology

, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 97–104

Gene expression in zebrafish embryos following exposure to TiO2 nanoparticles

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s13273-010-0013-6

Cite this article as:
Yeo, MK. & Kim, HE. Mol. Cell. Toxicol. (2010) 6: 97. doi:10.1007/s13273-010-0013-6


In this study, we investigated the effects of TiO2 nanoparticles, potential biological toxins, on zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryogenesis. We exposed zebrafish embryos to TiO2 particles of three different diameters (12–14 nm, 80–100 nm, 150–200 nm) and compared the acute responses of the embryos during embryogenesis. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) images demonstrated that 12–14 nm TiO2 particles were small ball types, while 80–100 nm TiO2 particles were square and ball types. Square layers were observed in the 150–200 nm TiO2 particles. The zebrafish morphants survived that exposure to the TiO2 nanoparticles exhibited incomplete notochord formation, with epidermal injuries observed in larvae exposed to 12–14 nm and 150–200 nm particles. In microarray analysis, several genes involved in immune response, tumor necrosis factor, and endocytosis and its regulation were differentially expressed in accordance to the nanoparticle size. Gene expression in embryos exposed to 12–14 nm particles was significantly upregulated in comparison to the control group and embryos exposed to other particle sizes. The results of the present study suggest that TiO2 nanoparticles 12–14 nm in size have toxic effects on zebraish development. TiO2 nanoparticles of larger sizes (80–100 nm, 150–200 nm) exhibit different types of genetic effects.


Nanometer-sized TiO2 Zebrafish Gene expression Regulation endocytosis Immune response 

Copyright information

© The Korean Society of Toxicogenomics and Toxicoproteomics and Springer Netherlands 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental Science and Environmental Research Center, College of EngineeringKyung Hee UniversityYongin-si, Gyeonggi-doKorea

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