Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) have been studied worldwide for their potential biomedical applications. Specifically, they are proposed as a novel alternative for cancer treatment. However, the determination of their cytotoxic and genotoxic effects continues to limit their application. The commercially available silver nanoparticle Argovit™ has shown antineoplastic, antiviral, antibacterial, and tissue regenerative properties, activities triggered by its capacity to promote the overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Therefore, in this work, we evaluated the genotoxic and cytotoxic potential of the Argovit™ formulation (average size: 35 nm) on BALB/c mice using the micronucleus in a peripheral blood erythrocytes model. Besides, we evaluated the capability of AgNPs to modulate the genotoxic effect induced by cyclophosphamide (CP) after the administration of the oncologic agent. To achieve this, 5–6-week-old male mice with a mean weight of 20.11 ± 2.38 g were treated with water as negative control (Group 1), an single intraperitoneal dose of CP (50 mg/kg of body weight, Group 2), a daily oral dose of AgNPs (6 mg/kg of weight, Group 3) for three consecutive days, or a combination of these treatment schemes: one day of CP doses (50 mg/kg of body weight) followed by three doses of AgNPs (one dose per day, Group 4) and three alternate doses of CP and AgNPs (six days of exposure, Group 5). Blood samples were taken just before the first administration (0 h) and every 24 h for seven days. Our results show that Argovit™ AgNPs induced no significant cytotoxic or acute genotoxic damage. The observed cumulative genotoxic damage in this model could be caused by the accumulation of AgNPs due to administered consecutive doses. Furthermore, the administration of AgNPs after 24 h of CP seems to have a protective effect on bone marrow and reduces by up to 50% the acute genotoxic damage induced by CP. However, this protection is not enough to counteract several doses of CP. To our knowledge, this is the first time that the exceptional chemoprotective capacity produced by a non-cytotoxic silver nanoparticle formulation against CP genotoxic damage has been reported. These findings raise the possibility of using AgNPs as an adjuvant agent with current treatments, reducing adverse effects.
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