Impacts of Polystyrene Microparticles on Living Organisms Studied

According to the abstract of an article to be published in the June 1, 2023 issue of Science of The Total Environment by researchers with Ritsumeikan University in Japan “… When microplastics enter the body, they are engulfed preferentially by phagocytes such as macrophages. However, it is not fully understood how phagocytes recognize microplastics and how microplastics impact phagocyte functions. In this study, we demonstrate that T cell immunoglobulin mucin 4 (Tim4), a macrophage receptor for phosphatidylserine (PtdSer) on apoptotic cells, binds polystyrene (PS) microparticles as well as multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) through the extracellular aromatic cluster, revealing a novel interface between microplastics and biological systems via aromatic-aromatic interactions … These data suggest that PS microplastics do not directly cause acute inflammation but perturb efferocytosis, raising concerns that chronic exposure to large amounts of PS microplastics may cause chronic inflammation leading to autoimmune diseases …” #MicroPlastics #PlasticWaste #SingleUsePlastics @RitsumeikanU