Toxicity mechanisms of ZnO UV-filters used in sunscreens toward the model cyanobacteria Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7942

Abstract : Zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles are commonly used in sunscreens for their UV-filtering properties. Their growing use can lead to their release into ecosystems, raising question about their toxicity. Effects of these engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) on cyanobacteria, which are important primary producers involved in many biogeochemical cycles, are unknown. In this study we investigated by several complementary approaches the toxicological effects of two marketed ZnO-ENMs (coated and uncoated) on the model cyanobacteria Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7942. It was shown that despite the rapid adsorption of ENMs on cell surface, toxicity is mainly due to labile Zn released by ENMs. Zn dissipates cell membrane potential necessary for both photosynthesis and respiration, and induces oxidative stress leading to lipid peroxidation and DNA damages. It led to global down regulation of photosystems, oxidative phosphorylation, and transcription/translation machineries. This also translates into significant decrease of intracellular ATP content and by cell growth inhibition. However, there is no major loss of pigments and even rather an increase in exposed cells compared to controls. A proposed way to reduce the environmental impact of Zn would be the improvement of the coating stability to prevent solubility of ZnO-ENMs.
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https://hal.univ-lorraine.fr/hal-02090651
Contributor : Bénédicte Sohm <>
Submitted on : Friday, April 5, 2019 - 8:51:58 AM
Last modification on : Friday, May 17, 2019 - 3:21:00 PM

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  • HAL Id : hal-02090651, version 1

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Anne Vicente, B. Sohm, Justine Flayac, Philippe Rousselle, P. Bauda, et al.. Toxicity mechanisms of ZnO UV-filters used in sunscreens toward the model cyanobacteria Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7942. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, Springer Verlag, In press. ⟨hal-02090651⟩

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