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Scientific Reports




Nature Publishing Group


The rapid development of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) has grown dramatically in the last decade, with increased use in consumer products, industrial materials, and nanomedicines. However, due to increased manufacturing, there is concern that human and environmental exposures may lead to adverse immune outcomes. Mast cells, central to the innate immune response, are one of the earliest sensors of environmental insult and have been shown to play a role in ENM-mediated immune responses. Our laboratory previously determined that mast cells are activated via a non-FcεRI mediated response following silver nanoparticle (Ag NP) exposure, which was dependent upon key physicochemical properties. Using bone marrow-derived mast cells (BMMCs), we tested the hypothesis that ENM physicochemical properties influence mast cell degranulation. Exposure to 13 physicochemically distinct ENMs caused a range of mast degranulation responses, with smaller sized Ag NPs (5 nm and 20 nm) causing the most dramatic response. Mast cell responses were dependent on ENMs physicochemical properties such as size, apparent surface area, and zeta potential. Surprisingly, minimal ENM cellular association by mast cells was not correlated with mast cell degranulation. This study suggests that a subset of ENMs may elicit an allergic response and contribute to the exacerbation of allergic diseases.


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