Microplastics are present in marine habitats worldwide and may be ingested by low trophic organisms such as fish larvae, with uncertain physiological consequences. The present study aims at assessing the impact of polyethylene (PE 10–45 μM) microbeads ingestion in European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) larvae. Fish were fed an inert diet including 0, 104 and 105 fluorescent microbeads per gram from 7 until 43 days post-hatching (dph). Microbeads were detected in the gastrointestinal tract in all fish fed diet incorporating PE. Our data revealed an efficient elimination of PE beads from the gut since no fluorescent was observed in the larvae after 48 h depuration. While the mortality rate increased significantly with the amount of microbeads scored per larvae at 14 and 20 dph, only ingestion of the highest concentration slightly impacted mortality rates. Larval growth and inflammatory response through Interleukine-1-beta (IL-1β) gene expression were not found to be affected while cytochrome-P450-1A1 (cyp1a1) expression level was significantly positively correlated with the number of microbeads scored per larva at 20 dph. Overall, these results suggest that ingestion of PE microbeads had limited impact on sea bass larvae possibly due to their high potential of egestion.
D. Mazurais, B. Ernande, P. Quazuguel, A. Severe, C. Huelvan, L. Madec, O. Mouchel, P. Soudant, J. Robbens, A. Huvet, J. Zambonino-Infante, Marine Environmental Research, Volume 112, Part A, Pages 78–85, December 2015