The role of Kupffer cells in the hepatic response to silver nanoparticles

Ali Kermanizadeh*, Caroline Chauché, Dominique Balharry, David M. Brown, Nilesh Kanase, Jorge Boczkowski, Sophie Lanone, Vicki Stone

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    33 Citations (Scopus)


    Engineered nanoparticles are increasingly used in medical applications and day-to-day consumer products, leading to concerns about the potential environmental and human health impacts. Silver nanoparticles are particularly prevalent because of their use as anti-bacterial agents in many commonly available products. Nanoparticles (NPs) are believed to accumulate, often preferentially, in the liver. This study therefore investigates the effect of a silver NP (20 nm) on the liver, and in particular, the role of Kupffer cells (KCs; resident liver macrophages) in the overall inflammatory response in the organ. Cytokine expression in the normal liver was measured in terms of IL2, IL4, TNF-α, IFN-γ and IL10 released from the organ with significant up-regulation of TNF-α and IL10 being observed. For livers in which the KC population was specifically targeted and destroyed this cytokine increase was significantly decreased in comparison to the normal tissue. IL10 was secreted at approximately three times the concentration of TNF-α in all the test cases. The high levels of IL10 released from the normal tissue in comparison to the KC depleted livers suggest that the cytokine may help to protect against a pro-inflammatory response to these Ag NPs. This may indicate a potentially important role for KCs in the anti-inflammatory response and suggests that tolerance to the Ag NPs is favoured over a fully activated immune response. In addition, albumin production was measured as an indicator of hepatic function. It was noted that the liver function was unaffected by the Ag NPs.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)149-154
    Number of pages6
    Issue numberSUPPL. 1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


    • Ag NPs
    • Inflammatory response
    • Kupffer cells
    • Liver
    • Liver function

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Biomedical Engineering
    • Toxicology


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