Silver nanoparticles induced oxidative and endoplasmic reticulum stresses in mouse tissues: implications for the development of acute toxicity after intravenous administration
Concerns have arisen about the health and environmental impacts of the increasing commercial use of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs). However, the toxic mechanisms and target tissues of AgNPs have not been fully defined. In this paper, we investigated the tissue toxicity of mice after intravenous administration of AgNPs at a single-dose of 0.2, 2 or 5 mg per kg (body weight), respectively. Biodistribution, endoplasmic reticulum stress, and oxidative stress were examined in mouse organs at eight hours after exposure. Stress markers, e.g. HSP70, BIP, p-IRE1, p-PERK, chop and xbp-1s proteins/genes, were significantly upregulated in a dose-dependent manner. In the liver, spleen, lung and kidney, high stress accompanied by apoptosis occurred. Low stress levels were observed in the heart and brain. Thus, it is proposed that the liver, spleen, lung and kidney are dominant target tissues of AgNP exposure. The lower stress and toxicity in the heart and brain were in agreement with lower AgNP accumulation. The present results demonstrated that AgNP exposure eventually resulted in permanent toxic damage by gradually imposing stress impacts on target organs. These findings highlight the potent applications of stress markers in future risk evaluation of silver nanoparticle toxicity.