Toxicity of ZnO nanoparticles (NPs) to THP-1 macrophages: interactions with saturated or unsaturated free fatty acids.Toxicol Mech Methods. 2019 May; 29(4):291-299.TM
In a biological microenvironment, free fatty acids (FFA) as ubiquitous biological molecules might interact with nanoparticles (NPs) and consequently change the toxicological responses. However, whether the chemical structures of FFA could influence their interactions with NPs remain unknown. This study investigated the interactions between ZnO NPs and saturated or unsaturated FFA (complexed to BSA), namely stearic acid (SA, C18:0), oleic acid (OA, C18:1), and α-linolenic acid (ALA, C18:3). It was shown that BSA, SA, OA, and ALA increased the atomic force microscope (AFM) heights as well the polydispersity index (PDI) of ZnO NPs. BSA modestly protected THP-1 macrophages from ZnO NP exposure, whereas OA and ALA led to relatively less cyto-protective effects of BSA. Moreover, only co-exposure to ZnO NPs and SA significantly promoted the release of interleukin-8. BSA, SA, OA, and ALA equally changed intracellular ROS and Zn ions associated with ZnO exposure, but co-exposure to ZnO NPs and OA/ALA particularly activated the expression of endoplasmic reticulum stress-apoptosis genes. In combination, these results showed that FFA could influence the colloidal aspects and toxicological signaling pathway of ZnO NPs, which is dependent on the number of unsaturated bonds of FFA.