Back to Journals » International Journal of Nanomedicine » Volume 12

Silica nanoparticles induce autophagy dysfunction via lysosomal impairment and inhibition of autophagosome degradation in hepatocytes

Authors Wang J, Yu Y, Lu K, Yang M, Li Y, Zhou X, Sun Z

Received 30 September 2016

Accepted for publication 8 December 2016

Published 24 January 2017 Volume 2017:12 Pages 809—825


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Linlin Sun

Ji Wang,1,2 Yongbo Yu,1,2 Ke Lu,1 Man Yang,1,2 Yang Li,1,2 Xianqing Zhou,1,2 Zhiwei Sun1,2

1Department of Toxicology and Sanitary Chemistry, School of Public Health, 2Beijing Key Laboratory of Environmental Toxicology, Capital Medical University, Beijing, People’s Republic of China

Abstract: Autophagy dysfunction is considered as a potential toxic mechanism of nanomaterials. Silica nanoparticles (SiNPs) can induce autophagy, but the specific mechanism involved remains unclear. Therefore, the aim of this study was to confirm the effects of SiNPs on autophagy dysfunction and explore the possible underlying mechanism. In this article, we reported that cell-internalized SiNPs exhibited dose- and time-dependent cytotoxicity in both L-02 and HepG2 cells. Multiple methods verified that SiNPs induced autophagy even at the noncytotoxic level and blocked the autophagic flux at the high-dose level. Notably, SiNPs impaired the lysosomal function through damaging lysosomal ultrastructures, increasing membrane permeability, and downregulating the expression of lysosomal proteases, cathepsin B, as evidenced by transmission electron microscopy, acridine orange staining, quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, and Western blot assays. Collectively, these data concluded that SiNPs inhibited autophagosome degradation via lysosomal impairment in hepatocytes, resulting in autophagy dysfunction. The current study not only discloses a potential mechanism of autophagy dysfunction induced by SiNPs but also provides novel evidence for the study of toxic effect and safety evaluation of SiNPs.

silica nanoparticles, autophagosome, lysosome, autophagy dysfunction, hepatocytes

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]