The in vitro effects of heavy metals and nanoparticles on the immune system
Lategan, Kim Leigh
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Heavy metals and nanoparticles may be released into the environment due to their use and applications. Sources of high, toxic metal concentrations may result from leachates from hazardous waste sites, discharge from industrial plants, and effluents from wastewater treatment plants being released into the environment. Nanoparticles may be found in a number of consumer products, and are used in medical applications such as drug delivery, bioimaging and biosensing. The release of heavy metals and nanoparticles to the environment may directly or indirectly impact abiotic and biotic systems. Three heavy metals and three nanoparticles were selected for this study. The heavy metals selected include cadmium (Cd), silver (Ag) and copper (Cu). The nanoparticles (NPs) chosen were silver nanoparicles (AgNPs), graphene oxide nanoparticles (GONPs) and carbon dots (CDs). These compounds were selected to evaluate the potential effects these compound may have on the immune system. The murine macrophage cell line RAW 264.7 and human whole blood cell cultures (WBCs) were selected as immune system representatives to assess the effects of heavy metals and nanoparticles on the immune system. The effects of heavy metals and NPs on RAW cells were monitored either in the absence or presence of the mitogen, lipopolysaccharide (LPS). The effects of heavy metals and NPs on WBCs were evaluated under basal conditions or in the presence of LPS or phytohaemmagglutinin (PHA). A number of parameters were monitored.