Silver Nanoparticles Induce Toxicity In A549 Cells Via ROS-Dependent And ROS-Independent Pathways

In this clinical study, published in the journal Toxicology In Vitro in February 2013, researchers exposed a lung cancer cell line (i.e., adenocarcinomic human alveolar basal epithelial cells) to silver nanoparticles in order to study the toxicity in relation to the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS).

According to the study authors, the silver nanoparticles caused formation of reactive oxygen species inside the cancer cells, resulting in a “reduction of cell viability and mitochondrial membrane potential” as well as “an increase in the proportion of cells in the apoptosis population.” In other words, as other clinical studies have demonstrated, the silver caused the cancer cells to gradually self-destruct. This was another study that was not a “silver v/s cancer” study, per se. The researchers appear to have simply selected the lung cancer cell line (A549) to study the toxic effects of silver on lung cells in general, which is something I’ve long advised against, since silver seems to have an affinity for cancer cells and therefore are not a good model for determining silver’s potential toxic effects against normal human cells. Nevertheless, the researchers demonstrated silver’s ability to cause lung cancer cells to self-destruct.

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