Infoscience

Journal article

Interaction of silver nanoparticles with algae and fish cells: a side by side comparison

Background: Silver nanoparticles (AgNP) are widely applied and can, upon use, be released into the aquatic environment. This raises concerns about potential impacts of AgNP on aquatic organisms. We here present a side by side comparison of the interaction of AgNP with two contrasting cell types: algal cells, using the algae Euglena gracilis as model, and fish cells, a cell line originating from rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) gill (RTgill-W1). The comparison is based on the AgNP behavior in exposure media, toxicity, uptake and interaction with proteins. Results: (1) The composition of exposure media affected AgNP behavior and toxicity to algae and fish cells. (2) The toxicity of AgNP to algae was mediated by dissolved silver while nanoparticle specific effects in addition to dissolved silver contributed to the toxicity of AgNP to fish cells. (3) AgNP did not enter into algal cells; they only adsorbed onto the cell surface. In contrast, AgNP were taken up by fish cells via endocytic pathways. (4) AgNP can bind to both extracellular and intracellular proteins and inhibit enzyme activity. Conclusion: Our results showed that fish cells take up AgNP in contrast to algal cells, where AgNP sorbed onto the cell surface, which indicates that the cell wall of algae is a barrier to particle uptake. This particle behaviour results in different responses to AgNP exposure in algae and fish cells. Yet, proteins from both cell types can be affected by AgNP exposure: for algae, extracellular proteins secreted from cells for, e. g., nutrient acquisition. For fish cells, intracellular and/or membrane-bound proteins, such as the Na+/K+-ATPase, are susceptible to AgNP binding and functional impairment.

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