Silver nanoparticles have been widely used in the lighting and food industries, in medicine, and in pharmaceutics as an antiseptic agent. Recent research demonstrates that, after prolonged oral administration, silver nanoparticles may cross the blood-brain barrier and accumulate in the brain in rather high amounts. In ex vivo experiments, it has also been shown that silver nanoparticles demonstrate neurotoxicity. The objective of this work was to answer the questions whether silver nanoparticles change cognitive and behavioral functions of mammals after prolonged administration if silver nanoparticles have accumulated in the brain. C57Bl/6 male mice were orally exposed to PVP-coated silver nanoparticles daily for 30, 60, 120 and 180 days. Control mice were exposed to distilled water. After that they were tested in the Open Field, Elevated Plus Maze, Light-Dark Box and contextual fear conditioning task. The data have shown that the experimental mice went through three periods of switching in the behavior caused by adaptation to the toxic silver nanoparticles: anxiety, appearance of research instinct and impairment of long-term memory. This provides evidence of the hazardous effect of silver nanoparticles, which appears after long periods of silver nanoparticle oral administration.
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