Investigating the effects of differently produced synthetic amorphous silica (E 551) on the integrity and functionality of the human intestinal barrier using an advanced in vitro co-culture model
- Journal Article
Rights / licenseCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
E 551, also known as synthetic amorphous silica (SAS), is the second most produced food additive. However, according to the re-evaluation of E 551 by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in 2018, the amount of available data on the oral toxicity of food grade E 551 is still insufficient for reliable risk assessment. To close this gap, this study aimed to investigate six food-grade SAS with distinct physicochemical properties on their interaction with the intestinal barrier using advanced in vitro intestinal co-cultures and to identify potential structure–activity relationships. A mucus-secreting Caco-2/HT-29/Raji co-culture model was treated with up to 50 µg/ml SAS for 48 h, which represents a dose range relevant to dietary exposure. No effects on cell viability, barrier integrity, microvilli function or the release of inflammatory cytokine were detected after acute exposure. Slight biological responses were observed for few SAS materials on iron uptake and gene expression levels of mucin 1 and G-protein coupled receptor 120 (GPR120). There was no clear correlation between SAS properties (single or combined) and the observed biological responses. Overall, this study provides novel insights into the short-term impact of food-relevant SAS with distinct characteristics on the intestinal epithelium including a range of intestine-specific functional endpoints. In addition, it highlights the importance of using advanced intestinal co-cultures embracing relevant cell types as well as a protective mucus barrier to achieve a comprehensive understanding of the biological response of food additives at the intestinal barrier in vitro. Show more
Journal / seriesArchives of Toxicology
Pages / Article No.
SubjectSynthetic amorphous silica (E551); Intestinal co-cultures; In vitro toxicology; Structure–activity relationships; Intestine-specifc functional endpoints
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