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Keywords:

  • silver nanoparticles;
  • human lung epithelial cells;
  • oxidative stress;
  • cyto-genotoxicity;
  • proinflammatory cytokines

ABSTRACT

Silver nanoparticles are increasingly used in various products, due to their antibacterial properties. Despite its wide spread use, only little information on possible adverse health effects exists. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the toxic potential of silver nanoparticles (<100 nm) in human lung epithelial (A549) cells and the underlying mechanism of its cellular toxicity. Silver nanoparticles induced dose and time-dependent cytotoxicity in A549 cells demonstrated by MTT and LDH assays. Silver nanoparticles were also found to induce oxidative stress in dose and time-dependent manner indicated by depletion of GSH and induction of ROS, LPO, SOD, and catalase. Further, the activities of caspases and the level of proinflammatory cytokines, namely interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) were significantly higher in treated cells. DNA damage, as measured by single cell gel electrophoresis, was also dose and time-dependent signicants in A549 cells. This study investigating the effects of silver nanoparticles in human lung epithelial cells has provided valuable insights into the mechanism of potential toxicity induced by silver nanoparticles and warrants more careful assessment of silver nanoparticles before their industrial applications. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Environ Toxicol 30: 149–160, 2015.