Toxicology Letters publish research from our Imptox team

Prof. Rajkovic and his research group from UGent investigate the "effect of polystyrene nanoplastics and microcystin-LR on the bioenergetic status of the intestinal Caco-2 and Liver HepG2 cell lines”.

Microcystin-LR (MC-LR) is a toxin produced by cyanobacteria and is among the most toxic of all microcystins. Cyanobacteria are aquatic and photosynthesizing organisms looking a bit like algae, although they are not eukaryotic. Microcystin can accumulate in common aquatic vertebrates and invertebrates such as fish and mussels and be ingested by humans as they consume seafood.

At this point though, we don’t know yet with precision what happens when MC-LR co-occurs with nanoplastics in seafood and water. We do know that nanoplastics seem to be stimulating MC-LR synthesis and release from its producing cyanobacteria.

To find out more, Prof. Andreja Rajkovic and his team have exposed Caco-2 or HepG2 cells to different concentrations of polystyrene nanplastic particles and MC-LR toxin in their lab. They have found that the co-exposure of polystyrene NPs and MC-LR increases the hepatotoxicity in a dose-dependent manner and conclude that MC-LR being a “potent tumour promoter, long-term of exposures in combination with several types of NPs need to be further investigated to assess the health impact in real life.”

To find out more, please click here for the full article.

Contributing authors: M. F. Abdallah, E. Muda, C. Grootaert, A. Rajkovic

Toxicology Letters, September 2022

“LP-68 Subtoxic doses of polystyrene nanoplastics and microcystin-LR affect the bioenergetic status of Caco-2 and HepG2 cells”