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Effects of Individual and Co-exposure of Copper Oxide Nanoparticles and Copper Sulphate on Nile Tilapia Oreochromis niloticus: Nanoparticles Enhance Pesticide Biochemical Toxicity

Özgür Fırat, Rabia Erol, Özge Fırat


Copper, like iron and zinc, is one of the most essential trace elements for organisms. Different forms of copper have distinctive and specific uses. For example, copper oxide nanoparticles (CuO-NP) are widely used in the world as a nanomaterial. Copper sulphate (CuSO4) is worldwide used as a fungicide in agriculture and as an algaecide in aquaculture. Nowadays, the increasing use of these chemicals raises concerns regarding their potential effects on the health of aquatic organisms and ecological risks. Therefore, in the present research, toxic effects of CuSO4 and CuO-NP, alone and in combination, were evaluated using biochemical markers (plasma biochemical and gill and liver oxidative stress) in freshwater fish, Oreochromis niloticus. The fish were exposed to 0.05 mg/L CuSO4, CuO-NP, and CuSO4+CuO-NP for 4 and 21 days.  Especially at 21 days, CuSO4 and CuO-NP, alone and combined, generally increased plasma alkaline phosphatase, aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, lactate dehydrogenase, cortisol, glucose, creatinine, blood urea nitrogen, and tissue malondialdehyde while they decreased plasma total protein, and tissue superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione-S-transferase, glutathione reductase, and glutathione. Consequently, our results illustrate that CuSO4 and CuO-NP have similar toxic effects in fish, however, co-exposure of CuO-NP and CuSO4 is more toxic than effects of these chemicals alone.


Oreochromis niloticus; Copper Oxide Nanoparticles; Copper Sulphate; Plasma Biochemistry; Oxidative Stress

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