Microplastics – Macrophage Effects Examined

The abstract of a May 22, 2021, Cell Biology and Communication Short Communication https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10565-021-09616-x by researchers with University of New Mexico School of Medicine and University of New Mexico Health Sciences reports that “… Macrophages are the primary phagocyte in mucosal environments (i.e., intestinal tract and lungs) acting as first-line defense against microorganisms and environmental pollutants ... we aimed to examine the metabolic response in macrophages to microplastic particles (MPs). Utilizing murine macrophages, we assessed the metabolic response of macrophages after polystyrene MP phagocytosis. The phagocytosis of MP by macrophages induced a metabolic shift toward glycolysis and a reduction in mitochondrial respiration that was associated with an increase of cell surface markers CD80 and CD86 and cytokine gene expression associated with glycolysis. The gastrointestinal consequences of this metabolic switch in the context of an immune response remain uncertain, but the global rise of plastic pollution and MP ingestion potentially poses an unappreciated health risk …” #MicroPlastics #PlasticWaste #SingleUsePlastic @UNMHSC