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Effects of silver nanoparticles on neonatal testis development in mice

Authors Zhang X, Gurunathan S, Kim J

Received 18 June 2015

Accepted for publication 28 August 2015

Published 5 October 2015 Volume 2015:10(1) Pages 6243—6256

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S90733

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Govarthanan Muthusamy

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Thomas J Webster


Xi-Feng Zhang,1,2 Sangiliyandi Gurunathan,1 Jin-Hoi Kim1

1Department of Animal Biotechnology, Konkuk University, Seoul, Republic of Korea; 2College of Biological and Pharmaceutical Engineering, Wuhan Polytechnic University, Wuhan, People’s Republic of China

Background: Metal nanoparticles (MNPs) play an important role in consumer products. An increasing use of MNPs has raised concerns about potential risks for human health. Therefore, in vivo tests of MNPs are urgently required. Using mice as a model animal, the aim of the present study was designed to investigate the effect of biologically synthesized silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) on spermatogenesis in neonatal mice.
Methods: AgNPs were synthesized using Bacillus funiculus. The prepared nanoparticles were characterized using various analytical techniques such as UV–visible spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, Fourier transform-infrared spectroscopy, and transmission electron microscopy. The prepared AgNPs were used to investigate testis development in neonatal mice. Institute of Cancer Research neonatal male mice were used in all experiments and were treated with different doses (0, 1, and 5 mg/kg) of AgNPs five times (interval of 3 days from postnatal day [PND] 8–21) by abdominal subcutaneous injection.
Results: The results showed that the sperm abnormalities such as quality and quantity were significantly increased by the synthesized AgNPs. The diameter of the convoluted tubules shrank significantly in mice treated with AgNPs on PND28 and PND42. The results of reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction indicated that the E1f1ay, Gsta4, and Fdx1 genes were up-regulated, and the Amh, Cx43, and Claudin-11 genes were down-regulated in response to AgNPs exposure on PND28; however, these genes recovered at PND60. AgNPs had no effect on the recombination levels of chromosomes in germ cells.
Conclusion: These results demonstrated the adverse effects of AgNPs on the male reproductive tract, particularly spermatogenesis and the quality of sperm. This study suggests that the development of nanomaterials should be safer and non-toxic to the living organisms and the potential reprotoxicity of AgNPs should be investigated more carefully.

Keywords: silver nanoparticles, male mouse, sperm, gene expression, testis development

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