Silver nanoparticle–induced nephrotoxicity in Clarias gariepinus: physio-histological biomarkers

  • Usama M. Mahmoud
  • Imam A. A. Mekkawy
  • Mervat Naguib
  • Alaa El-Din H. SayedEmail author


The present study investigates the nephrotoxic effects of two acute doses of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) and silver nitrate (AgNO3) on the African catfish, Clarias gariepinus, using biochemical, histochemical, and histopathological changes as biomarkers. AgNP-induced impacts were recorded in some of these characteristics on the bases of their size (20 and 40 nm) and concentration (10 and 100 μg/L) but no significant interaction between size and concentration. AgNO3 had low significant adverse effects on some parameters in comparison with those impacts of AgNPs. The concentrations of creatinine and uric acid exhibited different significant variations under stress in all exposed groups compared with those in the control group. On the tissue and cell levels, histopathological changes were observed. These changes include hypertrophies of glomeruli, proliferation in the haemopoietic tissue, dissociation in renal tubules, shrinkage of glomerulus, hydropic degeneration, dilatation of renal tubules, aggregation of melanomacrophages, rupture of Bowman’s capsule, and the glomerular tuft and dilatation of Bowman’s space. In more severe cases, the degenerative process leads to tissue necrosis in the kidney of AgNP-exposed fish as well as carbohydrate depletion; a faint coloration was also observed in the brush borders and basement membrane with a large amount of connective tissue fibers around the blood vessels and the renal tubules. Recovery period for 15 days led to improvement of most of the alterations in biochemical, histopathological, and histochemical parameters induced by AgNPs and AgNO3. In conclusion, one can postulate on the sensitivity of the kidney of C. gariepinus to AgNPs and recovery strategy is a must.


AgNPs Clarias gariepinuKidney function Histopathological Histochemical 



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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Zoology, Faculty of ScienceAssiut UniversityAssiutEgypt

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