Biotech, Biomaterials and Biomedical: TechConnect Briefs 2015Biotech, Biomaterials and Biomedical TechConnect Briefs 2015

Materials for Drug & Gene Delivery Chapter 1

Co-Culturing Dorsal Root Ganglion Neurons with Schwann Cells Protects Them Against the Cytotoxic Effects of Silver Nanoparticles

W. Gao, S.W. Leung, A. Bhushan, J.C.K. Lai
Idaho State University College of Pharmacy, United States

pp. 64 - 67

Keywords: DRG neurons and Schwann cells, silver nanoparticles, nanotoxicology, co-cultures protect against cytotoxicity

Because of their presumed inertness, silver nanoparticles are increasing employed in many consumer products. Nonetheless, their environmental and health hazard impact are not understood. Our previous studies led us to develop a co-culture model consisting of DRG neurons and Schwann cells and to employ it to investigate our hypothesis that co-culturing DRG neurons with Schwann cells imparts protection on them against cytotoxicity induced by silver nanoparticles. Silver nanoparticles induced concentration- and time-related decreases in survival of DRG neurons or Schwann cells in monotypic cultures: both cell types withstood the cytotoxicity of silver nanoparticles and survived better when maintained in co-cultures. DRG neurons and co-cultures of DRG neurons and Schwann cells, but not Schwann cells alone, expressed synapsin. Silver nanoparticles suppressed synapsin expression in DRG neurons alone but not in co-cultures with Schwann cells. Schwann cells and co-cultures of DRG neurons and Schwann cells, but not DRG neurons alone, expressed GFAP. However, silver nanoparticles markedly suppressed GFAP expression in Schwann cells alone but not in co-cultures with DRG neurons. Thus, our results provides support for our hypothesis and may be relevant to toxicological studies prior to clinical trials of drugs formulated with agents containing silver nanoparticles.