Inflammatory responses of a human keratinocyte cell line to 10 nm citrate- and PEG-coated silver nanoparticles


Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) are among the most commonly used engineered NPs and various commercially available products are designed to come in direct contact with the skin (wound dressings, textiles, creams, among others). Currently, there is limited understanding of the influence of coatings on the toxicity of AgNPs and in particular their ability to impact on AgNP's mediated inflammatory responses. As AgNPs are often stabilized by different coatings, including citrate and polyethyleneglycol (PEG), in this study we investigate the influence of citrate (Cit10) or PEG (PEG10) coatings to 10 nm AgNP on skin, using human HaCaT keratinocytes. AgNPs cytotoxicity and inflammatory response (nuclear factor (NF)-kappa B induction and cytokine production) of HaCaT were assessed after in vitro exposure to 10 and 40 A mu g/mL after 4, 24, and 48 h. Results showed that although both types of coated AgNPs decreased cell proliferation and viability, Cit10 AgNPs were more toxic. NF-kappa B inhibition was observed for the highest concentration (40 A mu g/mL) of PEG10 AgNPs, and the putative link to early apoptotic pathways observed in these cells is discussed. No production of IL-1 beta, IL-6, IL-10, and TNF alpha was stimulated by AgNPs. Furthermore, Cit10 and PEG10 AgNPs decreased the release of MCP-1 by HaCaT cells after 48 h of exposure. As cytokines are vital for the immunologic regulation in the human body, and it is demonstrated that they may interfere with NPs, more research is needed to understand how different AgNPs affect the immune system.



subject category

Chemistry; Science & Technology - Other Topics; Materials Science


Bastos, V; Brown, D; Johnston, H; Daniel-da-Silva, AL; Duarte, IF; Santos, C; Oliveira, H

our authors


This work was developed in the scope of the projects CICECO-Aveiro Institute of Materials (Ref. FCT UID/CTM/50011/2013) and CESAM (Ref. FCT UID/AMB/50017/2013), financed by national funds through the FCT/MEC and when applicable cofinanced by the European Regional Development Fund (FEDER) under the PT2020 Partnership Agreement. Funding to the project FCOMP-01-0124-FEDER-021456 (Ref. FCT PTDC/SAU-TOX/120953/2010) by FEDER through COMPETE and by national funds through FCT, and the FCT-awarded grants (SFRH/BD/81792/2011; SFRH/BPD/111736/2015) are acknowledged. I.F.D and A.L.D.S. acknowledge FCT/MCTES for the research contracts under the Program 'Investigador FCT' 2014.

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