Magnetic Nanoparticles (MNPs) are widely being investigated as novel promising multifunctional agents, specifically in the fields of development for theranostics, electronics, waste water treatment, cosmetics, and energy storage devices. Unique, superior, and indispensable properties of magnetization, heat transfer, and melting temperature make MNPs emerge in the field of therapeutics in future healthcare industries. However, MNPs ecotoxicity as well as behavioral toxicity is still unexplored. Ecotoxicity analysis may assist investigate MNPs uptake mechanism and its influence on bioavailability under a given set of environmental factors, which can be followed to investigate the biomagnification of MNPs in the environment and health risk possessed by them in an ecological food chain. In this study, we attempted to determine the behavioral changes in zebrafishes at low (1 ppm) or high (10 ppm) concentration levels of Fe3
MNPs. The synthesized Fe3
MNPs sized at 15 nm were characterized by the transmission electron microscope (TEM), the superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) magnetometer, and the multiple behavior tests for novel tank, mirror biting, conspecific social interaction, shoaling, circadian rhythm, and short-term memory of zebrafish under MNPs chronic exposure were demonstrated. Low concentration MNP exposure did not trigger alteration for majority behavioral and biochemical tests in adult zebrafish. However, tight shoal groups were observed at a high concentration of MNPs exposure along with a modest reduction in fish exploratory behavior and a significant reduction in conspecific social interaction behavior. By using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA), we found a high dose of MNPs exposure significantly elevated cortisol, acetylcholine, and catalase levels while reducing serotonin, acetylcholine esterase, and dopamine levels in the brain. Our data demonstrates chronic MNPs exposure at an environmentally-relevant dose is relatively safe by supporting evidence from an array of behavioral and biochemical tests. This combinational approach using behavioral and biochemical tests would be helpful for understanding the MNPs association with anticipated colloids and particles effecting bioavailability and uptake into cells and organisms.
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