Evaluation of nano-ZnOs as a novel Zn source for marine fish : importance of digestive physiology

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1026-1039
Journal / PublicationNanotoxicology
Issue number8
Online published20 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


Waterborne nanotoxicology of zinc oxide nanoparticles (nano-ZnOs) has been extensively studied over the past decade, whereas their potential dietary toxicity and applications were seldom investigated. In the present study, we systematically investigated both short-term bioavailability and chronic effects of nano-ZnOs to two marine fish (marine medaka Oryzias melastigma and red drum Sciaenops ocellatus). At normal supplementary level (80 mg Zn/kg), red drum (with a stomach) had similar assimilation efficiencies of nano-ZnOs and ZnCl2. Correspondingly, in vitro digestion experiments showed the continuous dissolution of nano-ZnOs in acid environment. In contrast, nano-ZnOs were more bioavailable than ZnCl2 to medaka (stomach-less) at 80 mg Zn/kg supplementary level. There results were further validated by using bulk-ZnOs. Chronic dietary exposure to nano-ZnOs (80 mg/kg) significantly enhanced the antioxidative defenses in medaka, with no negative effect on fish growth. Beneficial effects disappeared in the high dietary nano-ZnOs (300 mg/kg) treatment. For the first time, we provided direct evidence that nano-ZnOs was more bioavailable than ZnCl2 and bulk-ZnOs to stomach-less fish at normal dietary Zn inclusion level (<80 mg/kg), with potential benefits on antioxidative defenses. It is also necessary to pay attention to the dietary nano-ZnOs toxicity on stomach-less fish due to the presence of real ‘nano-effects.’  © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Research Area(s)

  • bioavailability, Fish nutrition, toxicity, zinc oxide nanoparticles

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