Multiple studies have examined the direct cellular toxicity of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs). However, the lung is a complex biological system with multiple cell types and a lipid-rich surface fluid; therefore, organ level responses may not depend on direct cellular toxicity. We hypothesized that interaction with the lung lining is a critical determinant of organ level responses. Here, we have examined the effects of low dose intratracheal instillation of AgNPs (0.05 μg/g body weight) 20 and 110 nm diameter in size, and functionalized with citrate or polyvinylpyrrolidone. Both size and functionalization were significant factors in particle aggregation and lipid interaction in vitro. One day post-intratracheal instillation lung function was assessed, and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and lung tissue collected. There were no signs of overt inflammation. There was no change in surfactant protein-B content in the BAL but there was loss of surfactant protein-D with polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP)-stabilized particles. Mechanical impedance data demonstrated a significant increase in pulmonary elastance as compared to control, greatest with 110 nm PVP-stabilized particles. Seven days post-instillation of PVP-stabilized particles increased BAL cell counts, and reduced lung function was observed. These changes resolved by 21 days. Hence, AgNP-mediated alterations in the lung lining and mechanical function resolve by 21 days. Larger particles and PVP stabilization produce the largest disruptions. These studies demonstrate that low dose AgNPs elicit deficits in both mechanical and innate immune defense function, suggesting that organ level toxicity should be considered.
Accompanying increased commercial applications and production of silver nanomaterials is an increased probability of human exposure, with inhalation a key route. Nanomaterials that deposit in the pulmonary alveolar region following inhalation will interact firstly with pulmonary surfactant before they interact with the alveolar epithelium. It is therefore critical to understand the effects of human pulmonary surfactant when evaluating the inhalation toxicity of silver nanoparticles. In this study, we evaluated the toxicity of AgNPs on human alveolar type-I-like epithelial (TT1) cells in the absence and presence of Curosurf(®) (a natural pulmonary surfactant substitute), hypothesising that the pulmonary surfactant would act to modify toxicity. We demonstrated that 20nm citrate-capped AgNPs induce toxicity in human alveolar type I-like epithelial cells and, in agreement with our hypothesis, that pulmonary surfactant acts to mitigate this toxicity, possibly through reducing AgNP dissolution into cytotoxic Ag(+) ions. For example, IL-6 and IL-8 release by TT1 cells significantly increased 10.7- and 35-fold, respectively (P<0.01), 24h after treatment with 25μg/ml AgNPs. In contrast, following pre-incubation of AgNPs with Curosurf(®), this effect was almost completely abolished. We further determined that the mechanism of this toxicity is likely associated with Ag(+) ion release and lysosomal disruption, but not with increased reactive oxygen species generation. This study provides a critical understanding of the toxicity of AgNPs in target human alveolar type-I-like epithelial cells and the role of pulmonary surfactant in mitigating this toxicity. The observations reported have important implications for the manufacture and application of AgNPs, in particular for applications involving use of aerosolised AgNPs.
Particle size and surface chemistry are potential determinants of silver nanoparticle (AgNP) respiratory toxicity that may also depend on the lung inflammatory state. We compared the effects of intratracheally-administered AgNPs (20 nm and 110 nm; polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) and citrate-capped; 0.1 mg/Kg) in Brown-Norway (BN) and Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats. In BN rats, there was both a neutrophilic and eosinophilic response, while in SD rats, there was a neutrophilic response at day 1, greatest for the 20 nm citrate-capped AgNPs. Eosinophilic cationic protein was increased in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) in BN and SD rats on day 1. BAL protein and malondialdehyde levels were increased in BN rats at 1 and 7 days, and BAL KC, CCL11 and IL-13 levels at day 1, with increased expression of CCL11 in lung tissue. Pulmonary resistance increased and compliance decreased at day 1, with persistence at day 7. The 20 nm, but not the 110 nm, AgNPs increased bronchial hyperresponsiveness on day 1, which continued at day 7 for the citrate-capped AgNPs only. The 20 nm versus the 110 nm size were more proinflammatory in terms of neutrophil influx, but there was little difference between the citrate-capped versus the PVP-capped AgNPs. AgNPs can induce pulmonary eosinophilic and neutrophilic inflammation with bronchial hyperresponsiveness, features characteristic of asthma.
Malaria remains a major public health problem due to the emergence and spread of Plasmodium falciparum strains resistant to chloroquine. There is an urgent need to investigate new and effective sources of antimalarial drugs. This research proposed a novel method of fern-mediated synthesis of silver nanoparticles (AgNP) using a cheap plant extract of Pteridium aquilinum, acting as a reducing and capping agent. AgNP were characterized by UV-vis spectrophotometry, Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), and X-ray diffraction (XRD). Phytochemical analysis of P. aquilinum leaf extract revealed the presence of phenols, alkaloids, tannins, flavonoids, proteins, carbohydrates, saponins, glycosides, steroids, and triterpenoids. LC/MS analysis identified at least 19 compounds, namely pterosin, hydroquinone, hydroxy-acetophenone, hydroxy-cinnamic acid, 5, 7-dihydroxy-4-methyl coumarin, trans-cinnamic acid, apiole, quercetin 3-glucoside, hydroxy-L-proline, hypaphorine, khellol glucoside, umbelliferose, violaxanthin, ergotamine tartrate, palmatine chloride, deacylgymnemic acid, methyl laurate, and palmitoyl acetate. In DPPH scavenging assays, the IC50 value of the P. aquilinum leaf extract was 10.04 μg/ml, while IC50 of BHT and rutin were 7.93 and 6.35 μg/ml. In mosquitocidal assays, LC50 of P. aquilinum leaf extract against Anopheles stephensi larvae and pupae were 220.44 ppm (larva I), 254.12 ppm (II), 302.32 ppm (III), 395.12 ppm (IV), and 502.20 ppm (pupa). LC50 of P. aquilinum-synthesized AgNP were 7.48 ppm (I), 10.68 ppm (II), 13.77 ppm (III), 18.45 ppm (IV), and 31.51 ppm (pupa). In the field, the application of P. aquilinum extract and AgNP (10 × LC50) led to 100 % larval reduction after 72 h. Both the P. aquilinum extract and AgNP reduced longevity and fecundity of An. stephensi adults. Smoke toxicity experiments conducted against An. stephensi adults showed that P. aquilinum leaf-, stem-, and root-based coils evoked mortality rates comparable to the permethrin-based positive control (57, 50, 41, and 49 %, respectively). Furthermore, the antiplasmodial activity of P. aquilinum leaf extract and green-synthesized AgNP was evaluated against CQ-resistant (CQ-r) and CQ-sensitive (CQ-s) strains of P. falciparum. IC50 of P. aquilinum were 62.04 μg/ml (CQ-s) and 71.16 μg/ml (CQ-r); P. aquilinum-synthesized AgNP achieved IC50 of 78.12 μg/ml (CQ-s) and 88.34 μg/ml (CQ-r). Overall, our results highlighted that fern-synthesized AgNP could be candidated as a new tool against chloroquine-resistant P. falciparum and different developmental instars of its primary vector An. stephensi. Further research on nanosynthesis routed by the LC/MS-identified constituents is ongoing.
One of the novel applications of the nanostructures is the modification and development of membranes for hemocompatibility of hemodialysis. The toxicity and hemocompatibility of Ag nanoparticles and arginine-treated multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWNT-Arg) and possibility of their application in membrane technology are investigated here. MWNT-Arg is prepared by amidation reactions, followed by characterization by FTIR spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, and thermogravimetric analysis. The results showed a good hemocompatibility and the hemolytic rates in the presence of both MWNT-Arg and Ag nanoparticles. The hemolytic rate of Ag nanoparticles was lower than that of MWNT-Arg. In vivo study revealed that Ag nanoparticle and MWNT-Arg decreased Hematocrit and mean number of red blood cells (RBC) statistically at concentration of 100 µg mL(-1) . The mean decrease of RBC and Hematocrit for Ag nanoparticles (18% for Hematocrit and 5.8 × 1,000,000/µL) was more than MWNT-Arg (20% for Hematocrit and 6 × 1000000/µL). In addition, MWNT-Arg and Ag nanoparticles had a direct influence on the White Blood Cell (WBC) drop. Regarding both nanostructures, although the number of WBC increased in initial concentration, it decreased significantly at the concentration of 100 µg mL(-1) . It is worth mentioning that the toxicity of Ag nanoparticle on WBC was higher than that of MWNT-Arg. Because of potent antimicrobial activity and relative hemocompatibility, MWNT-Arg could be considered as a new candidate for biomedical applications in the future especially for hemodialysis membranes.
In spite of many reports on the toxicity of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs), the mechanisms underlying the toxicity are far from clear. A key question is whether the observed toxicity comes from the silver ions (Ag(+)) released from the AgNPs or from the nanoparticles themselves. In this study, we explored the genotoxicity and the genotoxicity mechanisms of Ag(+) and AgNPs. Human TK6 cells were treated with 5 nM AgNPs or silver nitrate (AgNO3) to evaluate their genotoxicity and induction of oxidative stress. AgNPs and AgNO3 induced cytotoxicity and genotoxicity in a similar range of concentrations (1.00-1.75 µg/ml) when evaluated using the micronucleus assay, and both induced oxidative stress by measuring the gene expression and reactive oxygen species in the treated cells. Addition of N-acetylcysteine (NAC, an Ag(+) chelator) to the treatments significantly decreased genotoxicity of Ag(+), but not AgNPs, while addition of Trolox (a free radical scavenger) to the treatment efficiently decreased the genotoxicity of both agents. In addition, the Ag(+) released from the highest concentration of AgNPs used for the treatment was measured. Only 0.5 % of the AgNPs were ionized in the culture medium and the released silver ions were neither cytotoxic nor genotoxic at this concentration. Further analysis using electron spin resonance demonstrated that AgNPs produced hydroxyl radicals directly, while AgNO3 did not. These results indicated that although both AgNPs and Ag(+) can cause genotoxicity via oxidative stress, the mechanisms are different, and the nanoparticles, but not the released ions, mainly contribute to the genotoxicity of AgNPs.
Exposure to silver nanoparticles (AgNP) used in consumer products carries potential health risks including increased susceptibility to infectious pathogens. Systematic assessments of antimicrobial macrophage immune responses in the context of AgNP exposure are important because uptake of AgNP by macrophages may lead to alterations of innate immune cell functions. In this study we examined the effects of exposure to AgNP with different particle sizes (20 and 110 nm diameters) and surface chemistry (citrate or polyvinlypyrrolidone capping) on cellular toxicity and innate immune responses against Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb) by human monocyte-derived macrophages (MDM). Exposures of MDM to AgNP significantly reduced cellular viability, increased IL8 and decreased IL10 mRNA expression. Exposure of M.tb-infected MDM to AgNP suppressed M.tb-induced expression of IL1B, IL10, and TNFA mRNA. Furthermore, M.tb-induced IL-1β, a cytokine critical for host resistance to M.tb, was inhibited by AgNP but not by carbon black particles indicating that the observed immunosuppressive effects of AgNP are particle specific. Suppressive effects of AgNP on the M.tb-induced host immune responses were in part due to AgNP-mediated interferences with the TLR signaling pathways that culminate in the activation of the transcription factor NF-κB. AgNP exposure suppressed M.tb-induced expression of a subset of NF-κB mediated genes (CSF2, CSF3, IFNG, IL1A, IL1B, IL6, IL10, TNFA, NFKB1A). In addition, AgNP exposure increased the expression of HSPA1A mRNA and the corresponding stress-induced Hsp72 protein. Up-regulation of Hsp72 by AgNP can suppress M.tb-induced NF-κB activation and host immune responses. The observed ability of AgNP to modulate infectious pathogen-induced immune responses has important public health implications.