Differential Cytotoxicity of Metallic Oxide Nanoparticles in Mammalian Cells

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Nanomaterials have been increasingly used in industrial applications (e.g., drug delivery, additives to drugs and cosmetics). Because of their wide use, occupational exposure to nanomaterials and nanoparticles may pose as health risks. Recent studies have suggested that exposure to nanoparticles may induce cytotoxic effects in some mammalian cell types although these effects have not been systematically investigated. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that titanium oxide, magnesium oxide, and zinc oxide nanoparticles exert differential cytotoxic effects on human astrocytoma (U87) cells and human fibroblasts (HFF-1). Treatment with 5 µg/mL of titanium oxide (but not magnesium oxide or zinc oxide) nanoparticles induced a significant decrease in survival of U87 but not that of HFF-1 cells. However, treatment with zinc oxide nanoparticles at higher concentrations exerted a greater decrease in cell survival in U87 more so than in HFF-1 cells, compared to the corresponding effects of titanium and magnesium oxide nanoparticles. By contrast, treatment of both cell types with magnesium oxide nanoparticles did not lower cell survival below 50% even at higher concentrations. Thus, these results provide some support for our hypothesis and may have implications in nanotoxicity and health risks involved with exposure to metal oxide nanoparticles.

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Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 2, Nanotechnology 2008: Life Sciences, Medicine & Bio Materials – Technical Proceedings of the 2008 NSTI Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show, Volume 2
Published: June 1, 2008
Pages: 130 - 133
Industry sectors: Advanced Materials & Manufacturing | Personal & Home Care, Food & Agriculture
Topic: Environmental Health & Safety of Nanomaterials
ISBN: 978-1-4200-8504-4