Subacute oral toxicity investigation of nanoparticulate and ionic silver in rats

Niels Hadrup, Katrin Löschner, Anders Bergström, Andrea Wilcks, Xueyun Gao, Ulla Birgitte Vogel, Henrik Lauritz Frandsen, Erik Huusfeldt Larsen, Henrik R. Lam, Alicja Mortensen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Subacute toxicity of 14 nm nanoparticulate silver (Ag-NP) stabilised with polyvinylpyrrolidone and ionic silver in the form of silver acetate (Ag-acetate) was investigated in four-week-old Wistar rats. Animals received orally by gavage the following: vehicle control (10 $, 6 #); Ag-NP at doses: 2.25 (8 $), 4.5 (8 $) or 9 mg/kg bw/day (10 $, 6 #); or Ag-acetate 9 mg silver/kg bw/day (8 $) for 28 days. Clinical, haematolological and biochemical parameters, organ weights, macro- and microscopic pathological changes were investigated. Caecal bacterial phyla and their silver resistance genes were quantified. For the Ag-NP groups, no toxicological effects were recorded. For Ag-acetate, lower body weight gain (day 4–7, 11–14, 14–16, P\0.05; overall, day 1–28, P\0.01), increased plasma alkaline phosphatase (P\0.05), decreased plasma urea (P\0.05) and lower absolute (P\0.01) and relative (P\0.05) thymus weight were recorded. In conclusion, these findings indicate toxicity of 9 mg/kg bw/day ionic silver but not of an equimolar Ag- NP dose. This is in accordance with previously reported data showing that oral Ag-acetate, in comparison with an equimolar dose of Ag-NP, resulted in higher silver plasma and organ concentrations.
Original languageEnglish
JournalArchives of Toxicology
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)543-551
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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