The use of nanomaterials is increasing but the real risk associated with their use in humans has to be defined. In fact, nanomaterials tend to accumulate in organs over a long period of time and are slowly degraded or eliminated by the body. Exosomes are nanovesicles actively shuttle molecules, including chemical products and metals, through the body. Macrophages scavenge the body from both organic and inorganic substances, and they use to release high amounts of exosomes. We hypothesized that macrophages may have a role in eliminating nanomaterials through their exosomes. We treated human primary macrophages with 20 nm gold nanoparticles (AuNPs), analyzing the presence of AuNPs in both cells and the released exosomes by the implementation of different techniques, including SP-ICP-MS and NTA. We showed that macrophages endocytosed AuNPs and released them through exosomes. Our study on one hand provide the evidence for a new methodology in the early identification of the nanomaterials levels in exposed subjects. On the other hand we depict a way our body shuttle virtually intact nanoparticles through macrophage-released exosomes.
- Pharmaceutical Science