Comparative proteomic analysis of hepatic effects induced by nanosilver, silver ions and nanoparticle coating in rats
The presence of nano-scaled particles in food and food-related products has drawn attention to the oral uptake of nanoparticles and their interactions with biological systems. In the present study, we used a toxico proteomics approach to allow for the untargeted experimental identification and comparative analysis of cellular responses in rat liver after repeated-dose treatment with silver nanoparticles, ions, and the coating matrix used for particle stabilization. The proteomic analysis revealed treatment-related effects caused by exposure to silver in particulate and ionic form. Both silver species induced similar patterns of signaling and metabolic alterations. Silver-induced cellular alterations comprised, amongst others, proteins involved in metal homeostasis, oxidative stress response, and energy metabolism. However, we discovered that secondary nano-scaled structures were formed from ionic silver. Furthermore, also the coating matrix alone gave rise to the formation of nano-scaled particles. The present data confirm, complement, and extend previous knowledge on silver toxicity in rodent liver by providing a comprehensive proteomic data set. The observation of secondary particle formation from non-particle controls underlines the difficulties in separating particle-, ion-, and matrix coating-related effects in biological systems. Awareness of this issue will support proper evaluation of nanotoxicology-related data in the future.