October 3, 2022

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Experiments prove nanoplastics can damage processes in human liver and lung cells

Experiments prove nanoplastics can damage processes in human liver and lung cells



 

Experiments prove nanoplastics can damage processes in human liver and lung cells

What happens when people unknowingly eat, drink or inhale virtually invisible pieces of plastic?

While it’s unclear exactly how this affects humans, researchers have now taken a step toward answering that question .

In the ACS journal Environmental Science and Technology, a research team reports laboratory results showing that tiny plastic particles can enter liver and lung cells, disrupting their normal processes, potentially leading to adverse health outcomes.

 

Experiments prove nanoplastics can damage processes in human liver and lung cells

 

 

Plastics are inevitable in everyday life. Many products we bring home are made of or packaged in plastic, all of which can release micro and nano-sized fragments that can be accidentally consumed or inhaled.

While the health risks of nanoplastics to humans are not fully understood, researchers have recently shown that particles smaller than 100 nanometers in diameter can enter the blood and organs of animals, leading to inflammation, toxicity and neurological changes.

Therefore, Cai Zongwei, Zheng Chunmiao and colleagues wanted to study the molecular-level and metabolic effects when human lung and liver cells were exposed to the same size nanoplastics.

 

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The researchers grew human liver and lung cells separately on laboratory plates and treated them with varying numbers of 80-nanometer-wide plastic particles.

Two days later, electron microscope images showed that the nanoplastic had entered both types of cells, but did not kill them.

 

To learn more about what’s going on in cells, the researchers looked at compounds released by mitochondria during metabolism. Mitochondria, key organelles for energy production, are thought to be sensitive to nanoplastics.

When liver and lung cells were exposed to more nanoplastics, they produced more reactive oxygen species and different amounts of nucleotides, nucleosides, amino acids, peptides, and carboxylic acids, suggesting that multiple metabolic processes were disrupted.

In some cases, mitochondrial pathways appear to be dysfunctional. These observations suggest that while exposure to nanoplastics does not kill human lung and liver cells, it may disrupt key processes, potentially negatively affecting the organ, the researchers said.

 

Experiments prove nanoplastics can damage processes in human liver and lung cells

Experiments prove nanoplastics can damage processes in human liver and lung cells

Experiments prove nanoplastics can damage processes in human liver and lung cells

 

 

 

 

Experiments prove nanoplastics can damage processes in human liver and lung cells

(source:internet, reference only)


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