Soil, water and air pollution by plastic represents an issue of great concern since the particles produced by degradation of plastic materials can be ingested by animals and humans, with still uncertain health consequences. As a contribution on this crucial subject, the present work reports an investigation on the in vitro effects of different concentrations of polystyrene nanoplastics (5, 25 and 75 μg/mL) on swine granulosa cells, a model of endocrine reproductive cells. In particular, cell growth (BrDU incorporation and ATP production), steroidogenesis (17-β estradiol and progesterone secretion) and redox status (superoxide and nitric oxide production, enzymatic and non-enzymatic scavenging activity) were studied. Nanoplastics, at the highest concentration, stimulated cell proliferation (P < 0.05), while cell viability resulted unaffected. Steroidogenesis were disrupted (P < 0.05). Both enzymatic and non-enzymatic scavenging activity were increased after exposure at the highest nanoplastic dose (P < 0.05, P < 0.001). Nitric oxide secretion was increased by 25 and 75 μg/mL (P < 0.05) while superoxide generation was stimulated (P < 0.001) only by the highest concentration tested. Taken together, main features of cultured swine granulosa cells resulted affected by exposure to nanoplastics. These results raise concerns since environment nanoplastic contamination can represents a serious threat to animal and human health.
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