Journal article

Effect of media composition on bioavailability and toxicity of silver and silver nanoparticles in fish intestinal cells (RTgutGC)

To understand conditions affecting bioavailability and toxicity of citrate-coated silver nanoparticles (cit-AgNP) and dissolved silver at the luminal enterocyte interface, we exposed rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) gut cells (RTgutGC) in media of contrasting composition: two amino acid-containing media, one of which was supplemented with proteins, as can be expected during digestion; and two protein and amino acid-free media contrasting low and high chloride content, as can be expected in the lumen of fish adapting to freshwater or seawater, respectively. Dose-response curves were generated measuring cell metabolic activity, membrane and lysosome integrity over a period of 72hours. Then, nontoxic doses were applied and total silver accumulation, metallothionein and glutathione reductase mRNA levels were determined. The presence of proteins stabilized cit-AgNP keeping them in suspension. Conversely, in protein-free media, cit-AgNP agglomerated and settled, resulting in higher cellular accumulation of silver and toxicity. Chloride concentrations in exposure media modulated the toxicity of AgNO3 but not of cit-AgNP. Moreover, while amino acid-containing media are protective against AgNO3, likely due to the formation of thiolate complexes, they are only partially protective against cit-AgNP. Viability assays indicated that lysosomes are targets of cit-AgNP, supporting the hypothesis that cit-AgNP exert toxicity intracellularly. Metallothionein, a sensor of metal bioavailability, was induced by cit-AgNP in high chloride medium but not in low chloride medium, indicating that chloride might have a role in mobilizing silver from intercellular vesicles. Overall, this study shows that AgNP bioavailability and toxicity in the intestine is linked to its luminal content.


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