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Toxic effects of iron oxide nanoparticles on human umbilical vein endothelial cells

Authors Wu, Tan Y, Mao H, Zhang M

Published 26 May 2010 Volume 2010:5 Pages 385—399


Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Xinying Wu1, Yanbin Tan1, Hui Mao2, Minming Zhang1

1Department of Radiology, Second Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China; 2Department of Radiology, Center for Systems Imaging, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Abstract: Iron oxide nanoparticles (IONPs) have been employed for hyperthermia treatments, stem cell therapies, cell labeling, and imaging modalities. The biocompatibility and cytotoxic effects of iron oxide nanoparticles when used in biomedical applications, however, are an ongoing concern. Endothelial cells have a critical role in this research dealing with tumors, cardiovascular disease and inflammation. However, there is little information dealing with the biologic effects of IONPs on the endothelial cell. This paper deals with the influence of dextran and citric acid coated IONPs on the behavior and function of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). After exposing endothelial cells to IONPs, dose-dependent effects on HUVECs viability, cytoskeleton and function were determined. Both citric acid and dextran coated particles appeared to be largely internalized by HUVECs through endocytosis and contribute to eventual cell death possibly by apoptosis. Cytoskeletal structures were greatly disrupted, as evidenced by diminished vinculin spots, and disorganized actin fiber and tubulin networks. The capacity of HUVECs to form a vascular network on Matrigel™ diminished after exposure to IONPs. Cell migration/invasion were inhibited significantly even at very low iron concentrations (0.1 mM). The results of this study indicate the great importance of thoroughly understanding nanoparticle-cell interactions, and the potential to exploit this understanding in tumor therapy applications involving IONPs as thermo/chemoembolization agents.

Keywords: iron oxide nanoparticles, cytotoxicity, in vitro test, cytoskeleton, human umbilical vein endothelial cell

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