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Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) have become increasingly popular in the biomedical field over the last few decades due to its proven antibacterial property. Previous scientific studies have reported that one of the major organs responsible for detoxification of AgNPs is the liver. The liver is also the primary organ responsible for secretion of angiotensinogen (AGT), a key signaling molecule involved in the renin-angiotensin system (RAS), which plays an important role in maintaining cardiac output and vascular pressure. The aim of this study was to assess any potential changes in the RAS-associated gene signaling, inflammatory response, and hepatocellular toxicity resulting from AgNP exposure. To do this, 6-week-old, male Wistar rats were exposed to a subacute inhalation exposure of AgNP (200 ppb/days over 4 h/days exposure, for 5 d) and their livers were analyzed for alterations in RAS components, inflammation, and oxidative stress. Real time qPCR analysis showed that AgNP-exposure resulted in a significant increase in hepatic AGT, angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE)-1, and ACE-2 mRNA expression. Expression of inflammatory markers interleukin (IL)-6, IL-1β, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α were also upregulated with AgNP-exposure, compared to controls. Furthermore AgNP-exposure mediated a significant increase in hepatic expression of catalase, and superoxide dismutase, and oxidative stress, as assessed via 8-Oxo-2'-deoxyguanosine staining. Increased oxidative stress was associated with increased monocyte/macrophage-2 staining in the liver of AgNP-exposed rats. Such findings indicate that subacute inhalation exposure to AgNPs mediate increased hepatic RAS signaling, associated with inflammation, macrophage infiltration, and oxidative stress. © 2021 Wiley Periodicals LLC.


Subhayu Nayek, Amie K Lund, Guido F Verbeck. Inhalation exposure to silver nanoparticles induces hepatic inflammation and oxidative stress, associated with altered renin-angiotensin system signaling, in Wistar rats. Environmental toxicology. 2022 Mar;37(3):457-467

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PMID: 34792841

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