Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Prenatal exposure to TiO2 nanoparticles in mice causes behavioral deficits with relevance to autism spectrum disorder and beyond


Notter, Tina; Aengenheister, Leonie; Weber-Stadlbauer, Ulrike; Naegeli, Hanspeter; Wick, Peter; Meyer, Urs; Buerki-Thurnherr, Tina (2018). Prenatal exposure to TiO2 nanoparticles in mice causes behavioral deficits with relevance to autism spectrum disorder and beyond. Translational Psychiatry, 8(1):193.

Abstract

Environmental factors are involved in the etiology of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and may contribute to the raise in its incidence rate. It is currently unknown whether the increasing use of nanoparticles such as titanium dioxide (TiO2 NPs) in consumer products and biomedical applications may play a role in these associations. While nano-sized TiO2 is generally regarded as safe and non-toxic, excessive exposure to TiO2 NPs may be associated with negative health consequences especially when occurring during sensitive developmental periods. To test if prenatal exposure to TiO2 NPs alters fetal development and behavioral functions relevant to ASD, C57Bl6/N dams were subjected to a single intravenous injection of a low (100 µg) or high (1000 µg) dose of TiO2 NPs or vehicle solution on gestation day 9. ASD-related behavioral functions were assessed in the offspring using paradigms that index murine versions of ASD symptoms. Maternal exposure to TiO2 NPs led to subtle and dose-dependent impairments in neonatal vocal communication and juvenile sociability, as well as a dose-dependent increase in prepulse inhibition of the acoustic startle reflex of both sexes. These behavioral alterations emerged in the absence of pregnancy complications. Prenatal exposure to TiO2 NPs did not cause overt fetal malformations or changes in pregnancy outcomes, nor did it affect postnatal growth of the offspring. Taken together, our study provides a first set of preliminary data suggesting that prenatal exposure to nano-sized TiO2 can induce behavioral deficits relevant to ASD and related neurodevelopmental disorders without inducing major changes in physiological development. If extended further, our preclinical findings may provide an incentive for epidemiological studies examining the role of prenatal TiO2 NPs exposure in the etiology of ASD and other neurodevelopmental disorders.

Abstract

Environmental factors are involved in the etiology of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and may contribute to the raise in its incidence rate. It is currently unknown whether the increasing use of nanoparticles such as titanium dioxide (TiO2 NPs) in consumer products and biomedical applications may play a role in these associations. While nano-sized TiO2 is generally regarded as safe and non-toxic, excessive exposure to TiO2 NPs may be associated with negative health consequences especially when occurring during sensitive developmental periods. To test if prenatal exposure to TiO2 NPs alters fetal development and behavioral functions relevant to ASD, C57Bl6/N dams were subjected to a single intravenous injection of a low (100 µg) or high (1000 µg) dose of TiO2 NPs or vehicle solution on gestation day 9. ASD-related behavioral functions were assessed in the offspring using paradigms that index murine versions of ASD symptoms. Maternal exposure to TiO2 NPs led to subtle and dose-dependent impairments in neonatal vocal communication and juvenile sociability, as well as a dose-dependent increase in prepulse inhibition of the acoustic startle reflex of both sexes. These behavioral alterations emerged in the absence of pregnancy complications. Prenatal exposure to TiO2 NPs did not cause overt fetal malformations or changes in pregnancy outcomes, nor did it affect postnatal growth of the offspring. Taken together, our study provides a first set of preliminary data suggesting that prenatal exposure to nano-sized TiO2 can induce behavioral deficits relevant to ASD and related neurodevelopmental disorders without inducing major changes in physiological development. If extended further, our preclinical findings may provide an incentive for epidemiological studies examining the role of prenatal TiO2 NPs exposure in the etiology of ASD and other neurodevelopmental disorders.

Statistics

Citations

Dimensions.ai Metrics
2 citations in Web of Science®
3 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

35 downloads since deposited on 22 Jan 2019
35 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Institute of Veterinary Pharmacology and Toxicology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
Uncontrolled Keywords:Biological Psychiatry, Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience, Psychiatry and Mental health
Language:English
Date:1 December 2018
Deposited On:22 Jan 2019 12:05
Last Modified:25 Sep 2019 00:08
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:2158-3188
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/s41398-018-0251-2
PubMed ID:30237468
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant ID310030_169544
  • : Project TitleEpigenetic and Transgenerational Mechanisms in Infection-Mediated Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Download

Download PDF  'Prenatal exposure to TiO2 nanoparticles in mice causes behavioral deficits with relevance to autism spectrum disorder and beyond'.
Preview
Content: Published Version
Language: English
Filetype: PDF
Size: 972kB
View at publisher
Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)