Scientific publications

Silver nanoparticles induce a non-immunogenic tumor cell death

Dec 20, 2023 | Magazine: Journal of Immunotoxicology

Maritza Roxana Garcia Garcia 1, Noelia Casares 2 3, Luz Andrea Martinez Perez 4, Efren Juarez Curiel 5, Andres Alberto de Jesus Hernandez 1, Nina Bogdanchikova 6, Diana Garibo 7, Ana G Rodriguez-Hernandez 7, Alexey Pestryakov 8, Sandra Castro Gamboa 9, Luis Felipe Arias Ruiz 9, Olivia Torres Bugarin 9, Pedro Berraondo 2 3 10


Immunogenic cell death (ICD) is a form of cell death characterized by the release of danger signals required to trigger an adaptive immune response against tumor-associated antigens. Silver nanoparticles (AgNP) display anti-proliferative and cytotoxic effects in tumor cells, but it has not been previously studied whether AgNP act as an ICD inductor. The present study evaluated the in vitro release of calreticulin as a damage-associated molecular pattern (DAMP) associated with the cytotoxicity of AgNP and their in vivo anti-cancer effects. In vitro, mouse CT26 colon carcinoma and MCA205 fibrosarcoma cells were exposed to AgNP and then cell proliferation, adhesion, and release of calreticulin were determined.

The results indicated there were time- and concentration-related anti-proliferative effects of AgNP in both the CT26 and MCA205 lines. Concurrently, changes in cell adhesion were detected mainly in the CT26 cells. Regarding DAMP detection, a significant increase in calreticulin was observed only in CT26 cells treated with doxorubicin and AgNP; however, no differences were found in the MCA205 cells. In vivo, the survival and growth of subcutaneous tumors were monitored after vaccination of mice with cell debris from tumor cells treated with AgNP or after intra-tumoral administration of AgNP to established tumors. Consequently, anti-tumoral prophylactic immunization with AgNP-dead cells failed to protect mice from tumor re-challenge; intra-tumor injection of AgNP did not induce a significant effect.

In conclusion, there was a noticeable anti-tumoral effect of AgNP in vitro in both CT26 and MCA205 cell lines, accompanied by the release of calreticulin in CT26 cells. In vivo, immunization with cell debris derived from AgNP-treated tumor cells failed to induce a protective immune response in the cancer model mice. Clearly, further research is needed to determine if one could combine AgNP with other ICD inducers to improve the anti-tumor effect of these nanoparticles in vivo.

CITA DEL ARTÍCULO J Immunotoxicol. 2023 Dec;20(1):2175078. doi: 10.1080/1547691X.2023.2175078.