Comparison of acute responses of mice livers to short-term exposure to nano-sized or micro-sized silver particles


Mice were fed either 13 nm silver nanoparticles or 2–3.5 μm silver microparticles. The livers were then obtained after 3 days and subjected to a histopathological analysis. The nanoparticle-fed and microparticle-fed livers both exhibited lymphocyte infiltration in the histopathological analysis, suggesting the induction of inflammation. In vitro, a human hepatoma cell line (Huh-7) was treated with the same silver nanoparticles and microparticles. The mitochondrial activity and glutathione production were hardly affected. However, the DNA contents decreased 15% in the nanoparticle-treated cells and 10% in the microparticle-treated cell, suggesting a more potent induction of apoptosis by the nanoparticles. From a microarray analysis of the RNA from the livers of the nano- and micro-particle-fed mice, the expression of genes related to apoptosis and inflammation was found to be altered. These gene expression changes in the nanoparticle-treated livers lead to phenotypical changes, reflecting increased apoptosis and inflammation. The changes in the gene expression were confirmed by using a semi-quantitative RT-PCR.

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This work was supported by KOSEF grant M10203000039-05M0300-03910.

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Correspondence to Heejoon Myung.

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Cha, K., Hong, HW., Choi, YG. et al. Comparison of acute responses of mice livers to short-term exposure to nano-sized or micro-sized silver particles. Biotechnol Lett 30, 1893–1899 (2008).

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  • Cytotoxicity
  • Gene expression profile
  • Mouse liver
  • Nanoparticle
  • Silver