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Current Highlight from June 3, 2016

Mechanisms of Genotoxicity of Silver Nanoparticles 

Scientists from FDA's National Center for Toxicological Research, FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, and Kuching University in China employed in vitro culture models to demonstrate that the mechanism of silver nanoparticle (AgNP)-induced genotoxicity involves oxidative stress. The oxidative mechanism is primarily the effect caused by the nanoparticle itself, and does not arise from released silver ions (Ag+). Treatment of human TK6 cells with AgNPs or silver nitrate induced genotoxicity through generation of reactive oxygen species. By comparison, the addition of an Ag+ ion chelator decreased the genotoxicity of silver nitrate in the system, but not the genotoxicity of the AgNPs. Very low concentrations of Ag+ ion were detected from AgNPs; however, no genotoxic effects were detected at these low concentrations. Although AgNP toxicity has been reported previously, these current studies demonstrate the effects are likely derived from properties of the AgNPs themselves and not the result of silver ion toxicity. A manuscript describing this study is available at Archives of Toxicology.disclaimer icon

For additional information, please contact Tao Chen, Ph.D., Division of Genetic and Molecular Toxicology, FDA/NCTR.



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