Alleviation of neurotoxicity induced by polystyrene nanoplastics by increased exocytosis from neurons

Seung Woo Han, Taek Yeong Kim, Jin Sil Bae, Jinhee Choi, Kwon Yul Ryu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Nanoplastics (NPs) are potentially toxic and pose a health risk as they can induce an inflammatory response and oxidative stress at cellular and organismal levels. Humans can be exposed to NPs through various routes, including ingestion, inhalation, and skin contact. Notably, uptake into the body via inhalation could result in brain accumulation, which may occur directly across the blood-brain barrier or via other routes. NPs that accumulate in the brain may be endocytosed into neurons, inducing neurotoxicity. Recently, we demonstrated that exposure to polystyrene (PS)-NPs reduces the viability of neurons. We have also reported that inhibiting the retrograde transport of PS-NPs by histone deacetylase 6 (HDAC6) prevents their intracellular accumulation and promotes their export in mouse embryonic fibroblasts. However, whether HDAC6 inhibition can improve neuronal viability by increasing exocytosis of PS-NPs from neurons remains unknown. In this study, mice were intranasally administered fluorescent PS-NPs (PS-YG), which accumulated in the brain and showed potential neurotoxic effects. In cultured neurons, the HDAC6 inhibitor ACY-1215 reduced the fluorescence signal detected from PS-YG, suggesting that the removal of PS-YG from neurons was promoted. Therefore, these results suggest that blocking the retrograde transport of PS-NPs using an HDAC6 inhibitor can alleviate the neurotoxic effects of PS-NPs that enter the brain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-26
Number of pages8
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
StatePublished - 6 Aug 2023


  • Exocytosis
  • Inflammation
  • Nanoplastics
  • Oxidative stress
  • Retrograde transport


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