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Concentration-dependent toxicity of iron oxide nanoparticles mediated by increased oxidative stress

Authors Saba Naqvi, Mohammad Samim, MZ Abdin, et al

Published 16 November 2010 Volume 2010:5 Pages 983—989

DOI https://dx.doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S13244

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Saba Naqvi1, Mohammad Samim2, MZ Abdin3, Farhan Jalees Ahmed4, AN Maitra5, CK Prashant6, Amit K Dinda6
1Faculty of Engineering and Interdisciplinary Sciences, 2Department of Chemistry, 3Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of Science, 4Department of Pharmaceutics, Faculty of Pharmacy, Jamia Hamdard, Hamdard University, 5Department of Chemistry, University of Delhi, 6Department of Pathology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Abstract: Iron oxide nanoparticles with unique magnetic properties have a high potential for use in several biomedical, bioengineering and in vivo applications, including tissue repair, magnetic resonance imaging, immunoassay, drug delivery, detoxification of biologic fluids, cell sorting, and hyperthermia. Although various surface modifications are being done for making these nonbiodegradable nanoparticles more biocompatible, their toxic potential is still a major concern. The current in vitro study of the interaction of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles of mean diameter 30 nm coated with Tween 80 and murine macrophage (J774) cells was undertaken to evaluate the dose- and time-dependent toxic potential, as well as investigate the role of oxidative stress in the toxicity. A 15–30 nm size range of spherical nanoparticles were characterized by transmission electron microscopy and zeta sizer. MTT assay showed >95% viability of cells in lower concentrations (25–200 µg/mL) and up to three hours of exposure, whereas at higher concentrations (300–500 µg/mL) and prolonged (six hours) exposure viability reduced to 55%–65%. Necrosis-apoptosis assay by propidium iodide and Hoechst-33342 staining revealed loss of the majority of the cells by apoptosis. H2DCFDDA assay to quantify generation of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) indicated that exposure to a higher concentration of nanoparticles resulted in enhanced ROS generation, leading to cell injury and death. The cell membrane injury induced by nanoparticles studied using the lactate dehydrogenase assay, showed both concentration- and time-dependent damage. Thus, this study concluded that use of a low optimum concentration of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles is important for avoidance of oxidative stress-induced cell injury and death.

Keywords: superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles, cytotoxicity, MTT assay, J774 cell line

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