Nano-CeO2 exhibits adverse effects at environmental relevant concentrations

Haifeng Zhang, Xiao He, Zhiyong Zhang, Peng Zhang, Yuanyuan Li, Yuhui Ma, Yashu Kuang, Yuliang Zhao, Zhifang Chai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

257 Scopus citations


Ceria nanoparticles (nano-CeO2), due to their widespread applications, have attracted a lot of concern about their toxic effects on both human health and the environment. The present work aimed to evaluate the in vivo effects of nano-CeO2 (8.5 nm) on Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) at environmental relevant concentrations (molar concentrations ranging from 1 nM to 100 nM). The results indicate that nano-CeO2 could induce ROS accumulation and oxidative damage in C. elegans, and finally lead to a decreased lifespan. The most surprising thing is that the mean lifespan of nematodes was significantly decreased by 12% even at the exposure level of 1 nM (p < 0.01). In vitro tests suggest that the ability of nano-CeO2 to catalyze ROS generation was involved in the mechanism for its toxicity to C. elegans. To our best knowledge, this is the first case in which nanoparticles exhibit adverse effects on organisms at such low concentrations (1nM-100 nM). So, our findings indicate the importance of nanotoxicological investigations at environmentally relevant concentrations and will attract more attentions on the risks of NPs exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3725-3730
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 15 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry


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