Low molecular weight silicones induce cell death in cultured cells

These results indicate that D4 and, to a lesser extent, D5 can activate cell-death-related pathways in a cell type-specific fashion and suggest that this phenomenon may contribute to the development of Breast Implant Illness

Carla Onnekink; Rita M. Kappel; Wilbert C. Boelens; Ger J. M. Pruijn


Scholarcy highlights

  • Women with silicone gel-filled breast implants are exposed to organosilicon compounds, in particular methylsiloxanes, as a result of ‘gel bleed’ and implant rupture
  • For at least 8 hours the emulsion was not detectably altered. Their presence in the circulation implies that T lymphocytes may be readily exposed to silicone microdroplets released from implants and the non-adhering behavior of Jurkat cells allows their homogeneous exposure to silicones dispersed in the culture medium
  • The characteristic cleavage products of U1-70K and topoisomerase I were observed in the Jurkat cells treated with anisomycin or H2O2.Interestingly, the exposure to D4 led to the appearance of the molecular markers for apoptosis
  • The safety of silicones has been the subject of extensive debate in the past, it is generally recognized that silicone gel-filled breast implants can cause a disorder, often indicated with Breast Implant Illness
  • We show that the exposure of human cells to low molecular weight methylcyclosiloxanes can induce death of cultured cells
  • The difference in the experimental setup compared to our study and the different cell type used impede a direct comparison with our results
  • The results suggest that the release of silicones from breast implants by gel bleed or implant rupture leading to the generation of tiny droplets that migrate through the body may affect health by triggering cell death in certain organs and tissues

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