Alumina nanoparticles alter rhythmic activities of local interneurons in the antennal lobe of Drosophila

Nanotoxicology. 2013 Mar;7(2):212-20. doi: 10.3109/17435390.2011.648668. Epub 2012 Jan 20.


The special physical and chemical properties of nanomaterials open up new capabilities and functions. However, concerns have been raised about the risks produced by nanoparticles, their potential to cause undesirable effects, such as contamination of the environment and other adverse effects. In this study, we used Drosophila as a model organism to explore the effects of nano-alumina on the central nervous system. We focused on the rhythmic activities in the antennal lobe of Drosophila using patch clamps to record the electrophysiological activities. We found that 15 min after application of alumina nanoparticles, the average frequencies of spontaneous activities were significantly decreased compared with control groups (0.65 ± 0.13 Hz, 0.34 ± 0.07 Hz, *p < 0.05). These results indicated that nano-alumina might have adverse effects on the central nervous system in Drosophila.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / drug effects
  • Aluminum Oxide / toxicity*
  • Animals
  • Brain / drug effects*
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Drosophila / drug effects*
  • Drosophila / metabolism
  • Female
  • Interneurons / drug effects*
  • Interneurons / metabolism
  • Metal Nanoparticles / toxicity*
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques
  • Periodicity*
  • Pupa
  • Time Factors


  • Aluminum Oxide