Different routes, same pathways: Molecular mechanisms under silver ion and nanoparticle exposures in the soil sentinel Eisenia fetida.Environ Pollut. 2015 Oct; 205:385-93.EP
Use of nanotechnology products is increasing; with silver (Ag) nanoparticles particularly widely used. A key uncertainty surrounding the risk assessment of AgNPs is whether their effects are driven through the same mechanism of action that underlies the toxic effects of Ag ions. We present the first full transcriptome study of the effects of Ag ions and NPs in an ecotoxicological model soil invertebrate, the earthworm Eisenia fetida. Gene expression analyses indicated similar mechanisms for both silver forms with toxicity being exerted through pathways related to ribosome function, sugar and protein metabolism, molecular stress, disruption of energy production and histones. The main difference seen between Ag ions and NPs was associated with potential toxicokinetic effects related to cellular internalisation and communication, with pathways related to endocytosis and cilia being significantly enriched. These results point to a common final toxicodynamic response, but initial internalisation driven by different exposure routes and toxicokinetic mechanisms.