Allergenicity and toxicology of inhaled silver nanoparticles in allergen-provocation mice models

Hsiao Chi Chuang, Ta Chih Hsiao, Cheng Kuan Wu, Hui Hsien Chang, Chii Hong Lee, Chih Cheng Chang, Tsun Jen Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Silver nanoparticles (AgNP) have been associated with the exacerbation of airway hyperresponsiveness. However, the allergenicity and toxicology of AgNP in healthy and allergic individuals are unclear. We investigated the pathophysiological responses to AgNP inhalation in a murine model of asthma. Continuous and stable levels of 33 nm AgNP were maintained at 3.3 mg/m3 during the experimental period. AgNP exposure concomitant with ovalbumin challenge increased the enhanced pause (Penh) in the control and allergic groups. AgNP evoked neutrophil, lymphocyte and eosinophil infiltration into the airways and elevated the levels of allergic markers (immunoglobulin E [IgE] and leukotriene E4 [LTE4]), the type 2 T helper (Th2) cytokine interleukin-13 (IL-13), and oxidative stress (8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine [8-OHdG]) in healthy and allergic mice. Bronchocentric interstitial inflammation was observed after AgNP inhalation. After inhalation, the AgNP accumulated predominantly in the lungs, and trivial amounts of AgNP were excreted in the urine and feces. Furthermore, the AgNP induced inflammatory responses in the peritoneum. The inhalation of AgNP may present safety concerns in healthy and susceptible individuals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4495-4506
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Nanomedicine
Publication statusPublished - Nov 22 2013


  • Inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry
  • Inflammation
  • Leukotriene E4
  • Ovalbumin
  • Oxidative stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Drug Discovery


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