Silver nanoparticles enhance wound healing in zebrafish (Danio rerio)
Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) were successfully synthesized by a chemical reduction method, physico-chemically characterized and their effect on wound-healing activity in zebrafish was investigated. The prepared AgNPs were circular-shaped, water soluble with average diameter and zeta potential of 72.66 nm and −0.45 mv, respectively. Following the creation of a laser skin wound on zebrafish, the effect of AgNPs on wound-healing activity was tested by two methods, direct skin application (2 μg/wound) and immersion in a solution of AgNPs and water (50 μg/L). The zebrafish were followed for 20 days post-wounding (dpw) by visual observation of wound size, calculating wound healing percentage (WHP), and histological examination. Visually, both direct skin application and immersion AgNPs treatments displayed clear and faster wound closure at 5, 10 and 20 dpw compared to the controls, which was confirmed by 5 dpw histology data. At 5 dpw, WHP was highest in the AgNPs immersion group (36.6%) > AgNPs direct application group (23.7%) > controls (18.2%), showing that WHP was most effective in fish immersed in AgNPs solution. In general, exposure to AgNPs induced gene expression of selected wound-healing-related genes, namely, transforming growth factor (TGF-β), matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) −9 and −13, pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β and TNF-α) and antioxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase and catalase), which observed differentiation at 12 and 24 h against the control; but the results were not consistently significant, and many either reached basal levels or were down regulated at 5 dpw in the wounded muscle. These results suggest that AgNPs are effective in acceleration of wound healing and altered the expression of some wound-healing-related genes. However, the detailed mechanism of enhanced wound healing remains to be investigated in fish.