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Open Access Nano Express

Silver nanoparticles administered to chicken affect VEGFA and FGF2 gene expression in breast muscle and heart

Anna Hotowy1, Ewa Sawosz2, Lane Pineda1, Filip Sawosz1, Marta Grodzik2 and André Chwalibog1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Basic Animal and Veterinary Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Groennegaardsvej 3, Frederiksberg, 1870, Denmark

2 Nanobiotechnology Laboratory, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Warsaw, 02-786, Poland

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2012, 7:418  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-7-418

Published: 24 July 2012


Nanoparticles of colloidal silver (AgNano) can influence gene expression. Concerning trials of AgNano application in poultry nutrition, it is useful to reveal whether they affect the expression of genes crucial for bird development. AgNano were administered to broiler chickens as a water solution in two concentrations (10 and 20 ppm). After dissection of the birds, breast muscles and hearts were collected. Gene expression of FGF2 and VEGFA on the mRNA and protein levels were evaluated using quantitative polymerase chain reaction and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay methods. The results for gene expression in the breast muscle revealed changes on the mRNA level (FGF2 was up-regulated, P < 0.05) but not on the protein level. In the heart, 20 ppm of silver nanoparticles in drinking water increased the expression of VEGFA (P < 0.05), at the same time decreasing FGF2 expression both on the transcriptional and translational levels. Changes in the expression of these genes may lead to histological changes, but this needs to be proven using histological and immunohistochemical examination of tissues. In general, we showed that AgNano application in poultry feeding influences the expression of FGF2 and VEGFA genes on the mRNA and protein levels in growing chicken.

Silver nanoparticles; VEGFA; FGF2; Muscle; Heart; Chicken