Effects and uptake of gold nanoparticles deposited at the air-liquid interface of a human epithelial airway model

Institute of Anatomy, Division of Histology, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.
Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology (Impact Factor: 3.71). 09/2009; 242(1):56-65. DOI: 10.1016/j.taap.2009.09.014
Source: PubMed


The impact of nanoparticles (NPs) in medicine and biology has increased rapidly in recent years. Gold NPs have advantageous properties such as chemical stability, high electron density and affinity to biomolecules, making them very promising candidates as drug carriers and diagnostic tools. However, diverse studies on the toxicity of gold NPs have reported contradictory results. To address this issue, a triple cell co-culture model simulating the alveolar lung epithelium was used and exposed at the air-liquid interface. The cell cultures were exposed to characterized aerosols with 15 nm gold particles (61 ng Au/cm2 and 561 ng Au/cm2 deposition) and incubated for 4 h and 24 h. Experiments were repeated six times. The mRNA induction of pro-inflammatory (TNFalpha, IL-8, iNOS) and oxidative stress markers (HO-1, SOD2) was measured, as well as protein induction of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1, IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, GM-CSF, TNFalpha, INFgamma). A pre-stimulation with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) was performed to further study the effects of particles under inflammatory conditions. Particle deposition and particle uptake by cells were analyzed by transmission electron microscopy and design-based stereology. A homogeneous deposition was revealed, and particles were found to enter all cell types. No mRNA induction due to particles was observed for all markers. The cell culture system was sensitive to LPS but gold particles did not cause any synergistic or suppressive effects. With this experimental setup, reflecting the physiological conditions more precisely, no adverse effects from gold NPs were observed. However, chronic studies under in vivo conditions are needed to entirely exclude adverse effects.

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Available from: Christina Brandenberger
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    • "There are contradictory data regarding the oxidative stress caused by GNPs. Some studies have revealed that GNPs may induce oxidative stress (Jia et al. 2009; Pan et al. 2009), but in other studies, no significant induction of oxidative stress or inflammatory response due to GNPs has been observed (Brandenberger et al. 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: This study evaluated the parameters of oxidative stress and energy metabolism after the acute and long-term administration of gold nanoparticles (GNPs, 10 and 30 nm in diameter) in different organs of rats. Adult male Wistar rats received a single intraperitoneal injection or repeated injections (once daily for 28 days) of saline solution, GNPs-10 or GNPs-30. Twenty-four hours after the last administration, the animals were killed, and the liver, kidney, and heart were isolated for biochemical analysis. We demonstrated that acute administration of GNPs-30 increased the TBARS levels, and that GNPs-10 increased the carbonyl protein levels. The long-term administration of GNPs-10 increased the TBARS levels, and the carbonyl protein levels were increased by GNPs-30. Acute administration of GNPs-10 and GNPs-30 increased SOD activity. Long-term administration of GNPs-30 increased SOD activity. Acute administration of GNPs-10 decreased the activity of CAT, whereas long-term administration of GNP-10 and GNP-30 altered CAT activity randomly. Our results also demonstrated that acute GNPs-30 administration decreased energy metabolism, especially in the liver and heart. Long-term GNPs-10 administration increased energy metabolism in the liver and decreased energy metabolism in the kidney and heart, whereas long-term GNPs-30 administration increased energy metabolism in the heart. The results of our study are consistent with other studies conducted in our research group and reinforce the fact that GNPs can lead to oxidative damage, which is responsible for DNA damage and alterations in energy metabolism.
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    • "Since exposure to CNTs might occur repetitively, i.e. occupational exposures at the workplace or biomedical applications, it is crucial to address the biological effects upon repeated CNTs exposure. Consequently, the aim of this study was to mimic inhalation of CNTs in vitro and reveal the mechanisms that underlay the manifestation of potential adverse effects, by producing MWCNTs aerosols using the Air–Liquid Interface Cell Exposure System (ALICE) as described by Lenz et al. (2009) for spherical ZnO nanoparticles (NPs), as well as gold NPs (Brandenberger et al., 2009) and silver NPs (Herzog et al., 2013). Recently, it has further been highlighted as a reliable system for the aerosolisation of high aspect ratio materials such as cellulose nanocrystals (Endes et al., 2013, 2014). "
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) represent one of the most promising engineered nanomaterials, with possible applications in advanced engineering and biomedical technologies. During their production, human exposure to CNTs may occur via inhalation. Therefore, the aim of this study was to mimic inhalation of multi-walled CNTs (MWCNTs) in vitro as realistically as possible, by producing MWCNTs aerosols via an Air-Liquid Interface Cell Exposure System (ALICE), combined with a 3D epithelial airway barrier model cultivated at the air-liquid interface (ALI). To address the consequences of an extended exposure period, repeated exposures of MWCNTs (total deposition 1.15 μg/cm(2)) were applied to the co-culture system, either over one day (one day repeated exposure) or three days (three day repeated exposure scenario). Although in both repeated exposure scenarios MWCNTs were found to interact with the different cell types, they did not induce any cytotoxicity or alterations in cell morphology, nor did they elucidate any significant increase in pro-inflammatory markers compared to control cultures. Similar results were also observed following single MWCNTs exposures at deposited concentrations of 0.14, 0.20 and 0.39 µg/cm(2). Cells exposed repeatedly to MWCNTs for three days, however did show a decrease in reduced glutathione levels, although not significant (p > 0.05). In conclusion, we have presented a realistic in vitro alternative to mimic occupational exposure of MWCNTs and by applying this approach it was shown that repeated MWCNT exposures to lung cell cultures at the ALI elicit a limited biological impact over a three day period.
    Preview · Article · Feb 2015 · Nanotoxicology
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    • "The fast development of nanotechnology has brought about novel delivery strategies for inhaled and target-specific drugs for therapeutic applications, vaccines and diagnostics [4,5]. Gold nanoparticles (AuNP) are a candidate material for therapeutic applications, however little is known about how AuNP interact with different cell types [6]. Due to the high deposition efficiency of nanoparticles on the surface of the entire respiratory tract [7] and the health effects of UFP reported in humans (e.g. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background In healthy lungs, deposited micrometer-sized particles are efficiently phagocytosed by macrophages present on airway surfaces; however, uptake of nanoparticles (NP) by macrophages appears less effective and is largely unstudied in lung disease. Using mouse models of allergic asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), we investigated NP uptake after challenge with common biogenic ambient air microparticles. Methods Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) cells from diseased mice (allergic asthma: ovalbumin [OVA] sensitized and COPD: Scnn1b-transgenic [Tg]) and their respective healthy controls were exposed ex vivo first to 3-μm fungal spores of Calvatia excipuliformis and then to 20-nm gold (Au) NP. Electron microscopic imaging was performed and NP uptake was assessed by quantitative morphometry. Results Macrophages from diseased mice were significantly larger compared to controls in OVA-allergic versus sham controls and in Scnn1b-Tg versus wild type (WT) mice. The percentage of macrophages containing AuNP tended to be lower in Scnn1b-Tg than in WT mice. In all animal groups, fungal spores were localized in macrophage phagosomes, the membrane tightly surrounding the spore, whilst AuNP were found in vesicles largely exceeding NP size, co-localized in spore phagosomes and occasionally, in the cytoplasm. AuNP in vesicles were located close to the membrane. In BAL from OVA-allergic mice, 13.9 ± 8.3% of all eosinophils contained AuNP in vesicles exceeding NP size and close to the membrane. Conclusions Overall, AuNP uptake by BAL macrophages occurred mainly by co-uptake together with other material, including micrometer-sized ambient air particles like fungal spores. The lower percentage of NP containing macrophages in BAL from Scnn1b-Tg mice points to a change in the macrophage population from a highly to a less phagocytic phenotype. This likely contributes to inefficient macrophage clearance of NP in lung disease. Finally, the AuNP containing eosinophils in OVA-allergic mice show that other inflammatory cells present on airway surfaces may substantially contribute to NP uptake.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · BMC Pulmonary Medicine
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