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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(10), 2115;

Single Silver Nanoparticle Instillation Induced Early and Persisting Moderate Cortical Damage in Rat Kidneys

Laboratory of Clinical & Experimental Toxicology and Poison Control Centre and National Toxicology Information Centre, Toxicology Unit, ICS Maugeri SpA—Benefit Corporation, IRCCS Pavia, via Maugeri 10, 27100 Pavia, Italy
Department of Biology and Biotechnology “L. Spallanzani”, Laboratory of Cell Biology and Neurobiology, University of Pavia, via Ferrata 9, 27100 Pavia, Italy
Department of Biosciences, Università degli Studi di Milano, via Celoria 26, 20133 Milano, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 August 2017 / Revised: 25 September 2017 / Accepted: 28 September 2017 / Published: 10 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanotoxicology and Nanosafety)
PDF [1973 KB, uploaded 10 October 2017]


The potential toxic effects of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs), administered by a single intratracheal instillation (i.t), was assessed in a rat model using commercial physico-chemical characterized nanosilver. Histopathological changes, overall toxic response and oxidative stress (kidney and plasma protein carbonylation), paralleled by ultrastructural observations (TEM), were evaluated to examine renal responses 7 and 28 days after i.t. application of a low AgNP dose (50 µg/rat), compared to an equivalent dose of ionic silver (7 µg AgNO3/rat). The AgNPs caused moderate renal histopathological and ultrastructural alteration, in a region-specific manner, being the cortex the most affected area. Notably, the bulk AgNO3, caused similar adverse effects with a slightly more marked extent, also triggering apoptotic phenomena. Specifically, 7 days after exposure to both AgNPs and AgNO3, dilatation of the intercapillary and peripheral Bowman’s space was observed, together with glomerular shrinkage. At day 28, these effects still persisted after both treatments, accompanied by an additional injury involving the vascular component of the mesangium, with interstitial micro-hemorrhages. Neither AgNPs nor AgNO3 induced oxidative stress effects in kidneys and plasma, at either time point. The AgNP-induced moderate renal effects indicate that, despite their benefits, novel AgNPs employed in consumer products need exhaustive investigation to ensure public health safety. View Full-Text
Keywords: nanotoxicity; in vivo; histology; renal ultrastructure nanotoxicity; in vivo; histology; renal ultrastructure

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Roda, E.; Barni, S.; Milzani, A.; Dalle-Donne, I.; Colombo, G.; Coccini, T. Single Silver Nanoparticle Instillation Induced Early and Persisting Moderate Cortical Damage in Rat Kidneys. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 2115.

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