SiO2 nanoparticles modulate the electrical activity of neuroendocrine cells without exerting genomic effects

C. Distasi, F.A. Ruffinatti, M. Dionisi, S. Antoniotti, A. Gilardino, G. Croci, B. Riva, E. Bassino, G. Alberto, E. Castrofiorio, Danny Incarnato, E. Morandi, G. Martra, Salvatore Oliviero, L. Munaron, D. Lovisolo

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Engineered silica nanoparticles (NPs) have attracted increasing interest in several applications, and particularly in the field of nanomedicine, thanks to the high biocompatibility of this material. For their optimal and controlled use, the understanding of the mechanisms elicited by their interaction with the biological target is a prerequisite, especially when dealing with cells particularly vulnerable to environmental stimuli like neurons. Here we have combined different electrophysiological approaches (both at the single cell and at the population level) with a genomic screening in order to analyze, in GT1-7 neuroendocrine cells, the impact of SiO2 NPs (50 ± 3 nm in diameter) on electrical activity and gene expression, providing a detailed analysis of the impact of a nanoparticle on neuronal excitability. We find that 20 µg mL-1 NPs induce depolarization of the membrane potential, with a modulation of the firing of action potentials. Recordings of electrical activity with multielectrode arrays provide further evidence that the NPs evoke a temporary increase in firing frequency, without affecting the functional behavior on a time scale of hours. Finally, NPs incubation up to 24 hours does not induce any change in gene expression.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2760
Number of pages12
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 9-Feb-2018
Externally publishedYes

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