Journal article

Silver nanoparticles inhibit fish gill cell proliferation in protein-free culture medium

While short-term exposures of vertebrate cells, such as from fish, can be performed in defined, serum-free media, long-term cultures generally require addition of growth factors and proteins, normally supplied with a serum supplement. However, proteins are known to alter nanoparticle properties by binding to nanoparticles. Therefore, in order to be able to study nanoparticle-cell interactions for extended periods, the rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) gill cell line, RTgill-W1, was adapted to proliferate in a commercial, serum-free medium, InVitrus VP-6. The newly adapted cell strain was named RTgill-W1-pf (protein free). These cells proliferate at a speed similar to the RTgill-W1 cells cultured in a fully supplemented medium containing 5% fetal bovine serum. As well, they were successfully cryopreserved in liquid nitrogen and fully recovered after thawing. Yet, senescence set in after about 10 passages in InVitrus VP-6 medium, revealing that this medium cannot fully support long-term culture of the RTgill-W1 strain. The RTgill-W1-pf cell line was subsequently applied to investigate the effect of silver nanoparticles (AgNP) on cell proliferation over a period of 12 days. Indeed, cell proliferation was inhibited by 10M AgNP. This effect correlated with high levels of silver being associated with the cells. The new cell line, RTgill-W1-pf, can serve as a unique representation of the gill cell-environment interface, offering novel opportunities to study nanoparticle-cell interactions without serum protein interference.


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