Genotoxic effects of silver nanoparticles stimulated by oxidative stress in human normal bronchial epithelial (BEAS-2B) cells

Ha Ryong Kim, Mi Jie Kim, Soo Yeun Lee, Seung Min Oh, Kyu Hyuck Chung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

165 Citations (Scopus)


Many classes of silver nanoparticles (Ag-NPs) have been synthesized and widely applied, but the genotoxicity of Ag-NPs and the factors leading to genotoxicity remain unknown. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to elucidate the genotoxic effects of Ag-NPs in lung and the role of oxidative stress on the genotoxic effects of Ag-NPs. For this, Ag-NPs were completely dispersed in medium by sonication and filtration. The Ag-NPs dispersed in medium were 43-260. nm in size. We observed distinct uptake of Ag-NPs into BEAS-2B cells. The Ag-NPs aggregates were wrapped with an endocytic vesicle within the cytoplasm and nucleus of BEAS-2B cells. In the comet assay and micronucleus (MN) assay for BEAS-2B cells, Ag-NPs stimulated DNA breakage and MN formation in a dose-dependent manner. The genotoxic effect of Ag-NPs was partially blocked by scavengers. In particular, of the scavengers tested, superoxide dismutase most significantly blocked the genotoxic effects in both the cytokinesis-block MN assay and the comet assay. In the modified comet assay, Ag-NPs induced a significant increase in oxidative DNA damage. Furthermore, in the oxidative stress assay, Ag-NPs significantly increased the reactive oxygen radicals. These results suggest that Ag-NPs have genotoxic effects in BEAS-2B cells and that oxidative stress stimulated by Ag-NPs may be an important factor in their genotoxic effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-135
Number of pages7
JournalMutation Research - Genetic Toxicology and Environmental Mutagenesis
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Dec 24


  • BEAS-2B cells
  • Genotoxicity
  • Oxidative stress
  • Silver nanoparticles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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