Comparative Toxicity of Alpha and Gamma Iron Oxide Nanoparticles in Rainbow Trout: Histopathology, Hematology, Accumulation, and Oxidative Stress


In this study, alpha and gamma iron oxide nanoparticles, characterizations, toxic effects after being exposed to rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) at 0, 1, 10 and 25 mg/L concentrations for 10 days, and then 10-day recovery period without any nanoparticle exposure were examined for histopathological (kidney, liver and gill), hematological, iron accumulation and potential for oxidative stress (TBARS and GSH). Histopathological damages significant at the exposure of increasing concentrations of both nanoparticles (increase in melanomacrophage aggregations, epithelial tissue deformations, cytoplasmic vacuolizations, fatty changes, necrosis, pyknosis, hyperplasia, hypertrophy, lamellar fusions, capillary dilatations). Gamma nanoparticles were determined to accumulate more than the alpha nanoparticles. The most Fe accumulation was detected in the liver. The findings of oxidative stress parameters showed that both nanoparticles have the potential to generate oxidative stress. It was concluded that the exposure of alpha and gamma nanoparticles at specified concentrations and durations had a toxic effect on rainbow trout and the toxicity of these nanoparticles was similar.

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Data Availability

The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.


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Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University Scientific Research Projects Commission (Project No: FBA-2016-1005).

Author information




Mert Gürkan: study conception, histopathological analysis, manuscript preparation, drawing of figures. Selin Ertürk Gürkan: study conception, data analysis, oxidative stress parameters, and accumulation analysis. Sevdan Yılmaz: hematological analysis. Mehmet Ateş: nanoparticle characterization analysis.

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Correspondence to Mert Gürkan.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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An official application was made to the Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University, Animal Experiments Local Ethics Committee for the “Ethics Committee Permit Certificate” before starting the study. Experiments were started after the permit was obtained. All experiments were carried out by experts in accordance with ethical rules.

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Gürkan, M., Gürkan, S.E., Yılmaz, S. et al. Comparative Toxicity of Alpha and Gamma Iron Oxide Nanoparticles in Rainbow Trout: Histopathology, Hematology, Accumulation, and Oxidative Stress. Water Air Soil Pollut 232, 37 (2021).

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  • Alpha iron oxide
  • Gamma iron oxide
  • Nanoparticle
  • Toxicity
  • Oncorhynchus mykiss