Main content area

In vivo genotoxicity assesment of silver nanoparticles of different sizes by the Somatic Mutation and Recombination Test (SMART) on Drosophila

Ávalos, Alicia, Haza, Ana Isabel, Drosopoulou, Elena, Mavragani-Tsipidou, Penelope, Morales, Paloma
Food and chemical toxicology 2015 v.85 pp. 114-119
Drosophila melanogaster, anti-infective properties, commercialization, cosmetics, food storage, genotoxicity, humans, imagos, in vivo studies, larvae, mechanism of action, mutagenicity, nanosilver, pigmentation, somatic mutation, toxicology
Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) with antimicrobial activity are by far the most commercialized nano-compound. They are commonly used in medical products and devices, food storage materials, cosmetics and industrial products. Despite the increasing human exposure to AgNPs, they remain a controversial research area with regard to their toxic and genotoxic effects to biological systems. Although previous data have suggested that AgNPs induce toxicity in vitro, the in vivo studies on this topic are very limited. In the present study, the potential genotoxic activity of AgNPs of different sizes (4.7 and 42 nm) was evaluated using the in vivo Somatic Mutation and Recombination Test (SMART) in Drosophila melanogaster. Larvae were treated with 25, 30 and 50 μg/ml of AgNPs 4.7 nm, and 250, 500 and 1000 μg/ml of AgNPs 42 nm. Data showed that AgNPs at the applied concentrations did not modify the spontaneous frequencies of spots indicating lack of mutagenic and recombinogenic activity. However, both AgNPs induced pigmentation defects and reduction in locomotor ability in adult flies. Therefore, further experiments must be carried out to gain a better understanding of the mechanism of action of AgNPs to ensure their safe use.