Evaluation of multiwalled carbon nanotubes toxicity in two fish species.
Carbon Nanotubes are among the most promising materials for the technology industry. Their unique physical and chemical proprieties may reduce the production costs and improve the efficiency of a large range of products. However, the same characteristics that have made nanomaterials interesting for industry may be responsible for inducing toxic effects on the aquatic organisms. Since the carbon nanotubes toxicity is still a controversial issue, we performed tests of acute and subchronic exposure to a commercial sample of multiwalled carbon nanotubes in two fish species, an exotic model (Danio rerio) and a native one (Astyanax altiparanae). Using the alkaline version of the comet assay on erythrocytes and the piscine micronucleous, also performed on erythrocytes, it was verified that the tested carbon nanotubes sample did not generate apparent genotoxicity by means of single/double DNA strand break or clastogenic/aneugenic effects over any of the species, independently of the exposure period. Although, our findings indicate the possibility of the occurrence of CNTs-DNA crosslinks. Apparently, the sample tested induces oxidative stress after subchronic exposure as shown by activity of superoxide dismutase and catalase. The data obtained by the activity levels of acetylcholinesterase suggests acute neurotoxicity in Astyanax altiparanae and subchronic neurotoxicity in Danio rerio.