Silver nanoparticles (AgNP) are among the fastest growing product categories in the nanotechnology industry. Despite the importance of AgNP inconsumer products and clinical applications, relatively little is known regarding AgNP toxicity and its associated risks. We investigated the effects of AgNP on gene expression in the mouse brain using Affymetrix Mouse Genome Arrays. C57BL/6 mice were exposed to AgNP (geometric mean diameter, 22.18 ± 1.72 nm; 1.91×107 particles/cm3) for6 h/day, 5 days/week using the nose-only exposure system for 2 weeks. Total RNA isolated from the cerebrum and cerebellum was subjected to hybridization. From over 39,000 probe sets, 468 genes in the cerebrum and 952 genes in the cerebellum were identified as AgNPresponsive (one-way analysis of variance; p<0.05). The largest groups of gene products affected by AgNP exposure included 73 genes in the cerebrum and 144 genes in the cerebellum. AgNP exposure modulated the expression of several genes associated with motor neuron disorders, neurodegenerative disease, and immune cell function, indicating potential neurotoxicity and immunotoxicity associated with AgNP exposure. Real-time PCR data for five genes analyzed from whole blood showed good correlation with theobserved changes in the brain. Following rigorous validation and substantiation, these genes may assist in the development of surrogate markers for AgNP exposure and/or toxicity.
- Silver nanoparticles