People come in contact with a huge number of nanoparticles (NPs) throughout their lives, which can be of both natural and anthropogenic origin and are capable of entering the body through swallowing, skin penetration, or inhalation. In connection with the expanding use of nanomaterials in various industrial processes, the question of whether there is a need to study the potentially adverse effects of NPs on human health becomes increasingly important. Despite the fact that the nature and the extent of damage caused depends on the chemical and the physical characteristics of individual NPs, there are also general mechanisms related to their toxicity. These mechanisms include the ability of NPs to translocate to various organs through endocytosis, as well as their ability to stimulate the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), leading to oxidative stress, inflammation, genotoxicity, metabolic changes, and potentially carcinogenesis. In this review, we discuss the main characteristics of NPs and the effects they cause at both cellular and tissue levels. We also focus on possible mechanisms that underlie the relationship of NPs with carcinogenesis. We briefly summarize the main concepts related to the role of endogenous mineral organic NPs in the development of various human diseases and their participation in extra-bone calcification. Considering data from both our studies and those published in scientific literature, we propose the revision of some ideas concerning extra-bone calcification, since it may be one of the factors associated with the initiation of the mechanisms of immunological tolerance.
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