The effects of a human food additive, titanium dioxide nanoparticles E171, on Drosophila melanogaster - a 20 generation dietary exposure experiment
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In this study, fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) were exposed to an estimated daily human E171 consumption concentration for 20 generations. Exposure to E171 resulted in: a change in normal developmental and reproductive dynamics, reduced fecundity after repetitive breeding, increased genotoxicity, the appearance of aberrant phenotypes and morphologic changes to the adult fat body. Marks of adaptive evolution and directional selection were also exhibited. The larval stages were at a higher risk of sustaining damage from E171 as they had a slower elimination rate of TiO2 compared to the adults. This is particularly worrisome, since among the human population, children tend to consume higher daily concentrations of E171 than do adults. The genotoxic effect of E171 was statistically higher in each subsequent generation compared to the previous one. Aberrant phenotypes were likely caused by developmental defects induced by E171, and were not mutations, since the phenotypic features were not transferred to any progeny even after 5 generations of consecutive crossbreeding. Therefore, exposure to E171 during the early developmental period carries a higher risk of toxicity. The fact that the daily human consumption concentration of E171 interferes with and influences fruit fly physiological, ontogenetic, genotoxic, and adaptive processes certainly raises safety concerns.
This article is published as Jovanović, B., Jovanović, N., Cvetković, V.J., Matić, S., Stanić, S., Whitley, E.M, Mitrović, T.Lj. (2018). The effects of a human food additive, titanium dioxide nanoparticles E171, on Drosophila melanogaster - a 20 generation dietary exposure experiment. Scientific Reports 8:17922. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-36174-w.