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Interference of silver nanoparticles with essential metal homeostasis in a novel enterohepatic fish in vitro system


Silver nanoparticle toxicity has been extensively studied in several vertebrate cells. Its interaction with cellular essential metals homeostasis, however, has largely been overlooked. In this study, we used a novel in vitro model of the fish enterohepatic system to investigate the effect of citrate-coated AgNP (cit-AgNP) and AgNO3 on the homeostasis of copper, iron and zinc. The intestine and the liver are key tissues for whole body absorption and processing of metals. The enterohepatic system is based on a co-culture of intestinal cells (rainbow trout gut, RTgutGC) grown on permeable supports and hepatic cells (rainbow trout liver, RTL-W1) grown in the sub-located well. We have investigated early responses to sub-toxic and toxic doses of cit-AgNP and AgNO3. Viability assays indicated that lysosomes were a target of cit-AgNP. Moreover, in comparison to AgNO3, cit-AgNPs elicit a similar but attenuated metal stress response (induction of MT mRNA and ATP7A protein trafficking). Metal quantification revealed that, while intestinal cells accumulated similar amounts of silver following non-toxic exposure to equivalent amounts of either AgNO3 or cit-AgNP, cells exposed to AgNO3 excreted significantly more Ag to the basolateral chamber resulting in higher Ag accumulation in RTL-W1 cells. In addition, the application of toxic doses of AgNO3 resulted in a reduction of intracellular zinc and iron. Silver nanoparticles were detected by STEM/EDX in RTgutGC after 3 hours of exposure but not after 24 hours suggesting rapid intracellular dissolution. Thus, Ag is a potent disruptor of essential metals homeostasis and cit-AgNP, which tend to be more difficult to excrete by the cell, can prolong this effect.

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Publication details

The article was received on 18 Mar 2019, accepted on 14 May 2019 and first published on 16 May 2019

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C9EN00310J
Environ. Sci.: Nano, 2019, Accepted Manuscript

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    Interference of silver nanoparticles with essential metal homeostasis in a novel enterohepatic fish in vitro system

    M. Minghetti and K. Schirmer, Environ. Sci.: Nano, 2019, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C9EN00310J

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