Uptake of silver nanoparticles by monocytic THP-1 cells depends on particle size and presence of serum proteins

K. Kettler, C. Giannokou, W.H. de Jong, A.J. Hendriks, P.W. Krystek

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Human health risks by silver nanoparticle (AgNP) exposure are likely to increase due to the increasing number of NP-containing products and demonstrated adverse effects in various cell lines. Unfortunately, results from (toxicity) studies are often based on exposure dose and are often measured only at a fixed time point. NP uptake kinetics and the time-dependent internal cellular concentration are often not considered. Macrophages are the first line of defense against invading foreign agents including NPs. How macrophages deal with the particles is essential for potential toxicity of the NPs. However, there is a considerable lack of uptake studies of particles in the nanometer range and macrophage-like cells. Therefore, uptake rates were determined over 24 h for three different AgNPs sizes (20, 50 and 75 nm) in medium with and without fetal calf serum. Non-toxic concentrations of 10 ng Ag/mL for monocytic THP-1 cells, representing realistic exposure concentration for short-term exposures, were chosen. The uptake of Ag was higher in medium without fetal calf serum and showed increasing uptake for decreasing NP sizes, both on NP mass and on number basis. Internal cellular concentrations reached roughly 32/10 %, 25/18 % and 21/15 % of the nominal concentration in the absence of fetal calf serum/with fetal calf serum for 20-, 50- and 75-nm NPs, respectively. Our research shows that uptake kinetics in macrophages differ for various NP sizes. To increase the understanding of the mechanism of NP toxicity in cells, the process of uptake (timing) should be considered.
Original languageEnglish
Article number286
Pages (from-to)1-9
JournalJournal of Nanoparticle Research
Issue number9
Early online date22 Sept 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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