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Earthworm coelomocytes as nanoscavenger of ZnO NPs

Shruti Gupta, Tanuja Kushwah and Shweta Yadav*

Author Affiliations

Department of Zoology, School of Biological Sciences, Dr H S Gour Central University, Sagar, MP 470003, India

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2014, 9:259  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-9-259

Published: 23 May 2014


Earthworms can ‘biotransform’ or ‘biodegrade’ chemical contaminants, rendering them harmless in their bodies, and can bioaccumulate them in their tissues. They ‘absorb’ the dissolved chemicals through their moist ‘body wall’ due to the interstitial water and also ingest by ‘mouth’ while soil passes through the gut. Since the advent of the nanotechnology era, the environmental sink has been continuously receiving engineered nanomaterials as well as their derivatives. Our current understanding of the potential impact of nanomaterials and their natural scavenger is limited. In the present investigation, we studied the cellular uptake of ZnO nanoparticles (NPs) by coelomocytes especially by chloragocytes of Eisenia fetida and their role as nanoscavenger. Results from exposure to 100- and 50-nm ZnO NPs indicate that coelomocytes of the earthworm E. fetida show no significant DNA damage at a dose lower than 3 mg/l and have the potential ability to uptake ZnO NPs from the soil ecosystem and transform them into microparticles.

Coelomocytes; Eisenia fetida; Nanoscavenger; Biotransformation; Chloragocytes; Internalization