Article on "How Reversible Are the Effects of Fumed Silica on Macrophages? A Proteomics-Informed View" by Torres, A., Dalzon, B., Collin-Faure, V., Diemer, H., Fenel, D., Schoehn, G., ... & Rabilloud, T. (2020).


Synthetic amorphous silica is one of the most used nanomaterials, and numerous toxicological studies have studied its effects. Most of these studies have used an acute exposure mode to investigate the effects immediately after exposure. However, this exposure modality does not allow the investigation of the persistence of the effects, which is a crucial aspect of silica toxicology, as exemplified by crystalline silica. In this paper, we extended the investigations by studying not only the responses immediately after exposure but also after a 72 h post-exposure recovery phase. We used a pyrolytic silica as the test nanomaterial, as this variant of synthetic amorphous silica has been shown to induce a more persistent inflammation in vivo than precipitated silica. To investigate macrophage responses to pyrolytic silica, we used a combination of proteomics and targeted experiments, which allowed us to show that most of the cellular functions that were altered immediately after exposure to pyrolytic silica at a subtoxic dose, such as energy metabolism and cell morphology, returned to normal at the end of the recovery period. However, some alterations, such as the inflammatory responses and some aldehyde detoxification proteins, were persistent. At the proteomic level, other alterations, such as proteins implicated in the endosomal/lysosomal pathway, were also persistent but resulted in normal function, thus suggesting cellular adaptation.