Few layer graphene does not affect the function and the autophagic activity of primary lymphocytes
Carbon-based nanomaterials represent a new tool in future medical applications. Thus, focusing on the evaluation of the degree of their safety has been growing in the last years. In this study we were particularly interested in understanding the impact of few layer graphene (FLG) on primary murine lymphocytes. These B and T cells, that are the second, but specialized, line of defense of the immune system, rely on various mechanisms to ensure their efficient function and maintenance. One of these mechanisms is autophagy that can be triggered by various nanomaterials in some types of cells. For these reasons, we were interested in evaluating the way FLG could affect this process in lymphocytes. Our results point out that FLG neither impacts the viability and activation of T and B cells nor their autophagic activity. Using confocal microscopy, we were also able to see that FLG does not appear to cause any membrane damage and does not penetrate inside of these cells. Overall, our data do not show any effect of this material on lymphocyte homeostasis, which is one more argument in favor of the continuation of studies investigating the potential of FLG for therapeutic applications.