The potential toxicity of nanoplastics (NPs) and microplastics (MPs) has raised concerns. However, knowledge of the effects of NPs/MPs on the health of mammals is still limited. Here we investigated the alteration of the physicochemical properties of polystyrene NPs (PS-NPs: 50 nm) and MPs (PS-MPs: 300 nm, 600 nm, 4 μm) in the gastrointestinal tract. Moreover, we investigated the uptake and bioaccumulation and the toxic effects of these plastic particles in the kidneys of mice. The results revealed that their digestion promoted the aggregation of PS-NPs and PS-MPs and increased the Zeta-potential value. Both PS-NPs and PS-MPs bioaccumulated in the kidneys, and the aggregation of 600 nm PS-MPs exacerbated their biotoxicity. The PS-NPs and PS-MPs caused mice weight loss, increased their death rate, significantly alternated several biomarkers, and resulted in histological damage of the kidney. We also found that exposure to PS-NPs and PS-MPs induced oxidative stress and the development of inflammation. These findings provide new insights into the toxic effects of NPs and MPs on mice.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Chemistry