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Part Fibre Toxicol. 2016 Jul 8;13(1):38. doi: 10.1186/s12989-016-0149-1.

Dietary silver nanoparticles can disturb the gut microbiota in mice.

Author information

1
Louvain centre for Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, Institut de Recherche Expérimentale et Clinique, Université catholique de Louvain, Avenue E. Mounier 52 - bte B1.52.12, 1200, Brussels, Belgium. sybille.vandenbrule@uclouvain.be.
2
Centre de Technologies Moléculaires Appliquées, Institut de Recherche Expérimentale et Clinique, Université catholique de Louvain, Clos Chapelle-aux-champs 30 bte B1.30.24, 1200, Brussels, Belgium.
3
Louvain centre for Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, Institut de Recherche Expérimentale et Clinique, Université catholique de Louvain, Avenue E. Mounier 52 - bte B1.52.12, 1200, Brussels, Belgium.
4
CEREGE, Aix Marseille Université, CNRS, IRD, UM34, UMR 7330, Europole de l'arbois - BP 80, 13545, Aix en Provence, France.
5
CEA LITEN Grenoble, 17 Rue des Martyrs, 38054, GRENOBLE - CEDEX 9, France.
6
Electron Microscopy Unit, Veterinary and Agrochemical Research Centre (CODA-CERVA), Groeselenberg 99, 1180, Brussels, Belgium.
7
De Duve Institute, Université catholique de Louvain, Avenue Hippocrate 75 - bte B1.75.02, 1200, Brussels, Belgium.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Humans are increasingly exposed via the diet to Ag nanoparticles (NP) used in the food industry. Because of their anti-bacterial activity, ingested Ag NP might disturb the gut microbiota that is essential for local and systemic homeostasis. We explored here the possible impact of dietary Ag NP on the gut microbiota in mice at doses relevant for currently estimated human intake.

METHODS:

Mice were orally exposed to food (pellets) supplemented with increasing doses of Ag NP (0, 46, 460 or 4600 ppb) during 28 d. Body weight, systemic inflammation and gut integrity were investigated to determine overall toxicity, and feces DNA collected from the gut were analyzed by Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) to assess the effect of Ag NP on the bacterial population. Ag NP were characterized alone and in the supplemented pellets by scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) and energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX).

RESULTS:

No overall toxicity was recorded in mice exposed to Ag NP. Ag NP disturbed bacterial evenness (α-diversity) and populations (β-diversity) in a dose-dependent manner. Ag NP increased the ratio between Firmicutes (F) and Bacteroidetes (B) phyla. At the family level, Lachnospiraceae and the S24-7 family mainly accounted for the increase in Firmicutes and decrease in Bacteroidetes, respectively. Similar effects were not observed in mice identically exposed to the same batch of Ag NP-supplemented pellets aged during 4 or 8 months and the F/B ratio was less or not modified. Analysis of Ag NP-supplemented pellets showed that freshly prepared pellets released Ag ions faster than aged pellets. STEM-EDX analysis also showed that Ag sulfidation occurred in aged Ag NP-supplemented pellets.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our data indicate that oral exposure to human relevant doses of Ag NP can induce microbial alterations in the gut. The bacterial disturbances recorded after Ag NP are similar to those reported in metabolic and inflammatory diseases, such as obesity. It also highlights that Ag NP aging in food, and more specifically sulfidation, can reduce the effects of Ag NP on the microbiota by limiting the release of toxic Ag ions.

KEYWORDS:

Bacteria; Dysbiosis; Food; NGS; Nanomaterials; Sulfidation; Toxicity

PMID:
27393559
PMCID:
PMC4939013
DOI:
10.1186/s12989-016-0149-1
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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