Assessing the relevance of exposure time in differentiated Caco-2/HT29 cocultures. Effects of silver nanoparticles

Miriam Saez-Tenorio, Josefa Domenech, Alba García-Rodríguez, Antonia Velázquez, Alba Hernández, Ricard Marcos, Constanza Cortés

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearch

10 Citations (Scopus)


© 2018 In vitro models of the intestinal barrier are being increasingly used to evaluate nanoparticles (NPs) exposure risk. Nevertheless, most of these studies have focused on short-term exposures lasting no more than 24 h of duration, which could underestimate the toxic effects of a given compound under a more realistic setting. Since the assessment of longer exposure time-points is crucial to evaluate the risk of cumulative exposure to NPs, we have analyzed the effects of AgNPs at different exposure time-points between 6 h and 4 days on the barrier model system constituted by Caco-2/HT29 cells. Our results indicate that i) the system is stable during this time frame; ii) AgNPs affect the barrier's integrity only at the highest concentration tested (100 μg/mL), and only after 96 h of exposure; iii) cellular uptake of AgNPs showed a time-dependent and concentration-dependent increase; iv) translocation through the barrier was only observed at the highest concentration and only after 96 h of exposure; v) the expression of genes involved in the barrier's structure differs depending on the exposure time analyzed. All these results reinforce our proposal of expanding exposure times beyond 24 h when performing assays for hazard assessment of NPs using in vitro models of the intestinal barrier.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)258-267
Number of pages10
JournalFood and Chemical Toxicology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • Caco-2 Cells
  • Cell Differentiation/drug effects
  • Cell Survival/drug effects
  • Gene Expression/drug effects
  • HT29 Cells
  • Humans
  • Metal Nanoparticles/chemistry
  • Silver/chemistry
  • Time Factors


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