Toxic potential of copper-doped ZnO nanoparticles in Drosophila melanogaster (Oregon R)

Aims: In the present study, copper-doped ZnO nanoparticles (doped ZnO NPs Cu) were synthesized, characterized and evaluated for their possible toxic effects in Drosophila melanogaster (Oregon R).

Methods and results: X-ray diffraction, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry confirm the formation of doped ZnO NPs Cu. Doped ZnO NPs Cu (3%) were mixed in the diet at final concentrations of 1, 2, 4 and 8 µg/µl. The starved male flies were allowed to feed on it for 4 days. After completion of the desired duration, climbing ability, activity pattern, activity of acetylcholinesterase (AChE), glutathione (GSH), glutathione-S-transferase (GST), lipid peroxidation (LPO), total protein content and caspases were studied. SDS–PAGE was also performed for whole fly homogenate of control as well as treated flies. No loss in the climbing and activity pattern was observed at the selected doses of doped ZnO NPs Cu. No significant change in the levels of AChE, GSH, GST, LPO, caspase 9/3 and total protein content was observed. The brain sections showed no gross changes in the structure and SDS–PAGE patterns also revealed no change in the protein expression.

Conclusions: The results suggest that doped ZnO NPs Cu are non-toxic at 1, 2, 4 and 8 µg/µl of concentration in D. melanogaster.