Multigenerational inheritance of breathing deficits following perinatal exposure to titanium dioxide nanoparticles in the offspring of mice

Marie Boulain, Didier Morin, Laurent Juvin
Discover Nano. 2024-01-23; 19(1):
DOI: 10.1186/s11671-023-03927-0

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The utilization of titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TIO2NPs) has experienced a significant surge in recent decades, and these particles are now commonly found in various everyday consumer products. Due to their small size, TIO2NPs can penetrate biological barriers and elicit adverse interactions with biological tissues. Notably, exposure of pregnant females to TIO2NPs during the perinatal period has been shown to disrupt the growth of offspring. Furthermore, this exposure induces epigenetic modifications in the DNA of newborns, suggesting the possibility of multigenerational effects. Thus, perinatal exposure to TIO2NPs may induce immediate metabolic impairments in neonates, which could be transmitted to subsequent generations in the long term.

In this study, we utilized perinatal exposure of female mice to TIO2NPs through voluntary food intake and observed impaired metabolism in newborn male and female F1 offspring. The exposed newborn mice exhibited reduced body weight gain and a slower breathing rate compared to non-exposed animals. Additionally, a higher proportion of exposed F1 newborns experienced apneas. Similar observations were made when the exposure was limited to the postnatal period, highlighting lactation as a critical period for the adverse effects of TIO2NPs on postnatal metabolism. Importantly, the breathing deficits induced by TIO2NPs were transmitted from F1 females to the subsequent F2 generation. Moreover, re-exposure of adult F1 females to TIO2NPs exacerbated the breathing deficits in newborn F2 males.

Our findings demonstrate that perinatal exposure to TIO2NPs disrupts postnatal body weight gain and respiration in the offspring, and these deficits are transmissible to future generations.

Auteurs Bordeaux Neurocampus