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Int J Toxicol. 2006 Nov-Dec;25(6):451-7.

Toxicity of cerium oxide nanoparticles in human lung cancer cells.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry and Environmental Research Center for Emerging Contaminants, University of Missouri-Rolla, Rolla, Missouri 65409, USA.


With the fast development of nanotechnology, the nanomaterials start to cause people's attention for potential toxic effect. In this paper, the cytotoxicity and oxidative stress caused by 20-nm cerium oxide (CeO2) nanoparticles in cultured human lung cancer cells was investigated. The sulforhodamine B method was employed to assess cell viability after exposure to 3.5, 10.5, and 23.3 microg/ml of CeO2 nanoparticles for 24, 48, and 72 h. Cell viability decreased significantly as a function of nanoparticle dose and exposure time. Indicators of oxidative stress and cytotoxicity, including total reactive oxygen species, glutathione, malondialdehyde, alpha-tocopherol, and lactate dehydrogenase, were quantitatively assessed. It is concluded from the results that free radicals generated by exposure to 3.5 to 23.3 microg/ml CeO2 nanoparticles produce significant oxidative stress in the cells, as reflected by reduced glutathione and alpha-tocopherol levels; the toxic effects of CeO2 nanoparticles are dose dependent and time dependent; elevated oxidative stress increases the production of malondialdehyde and lactate dehydrogenase, which are indicators of lipid peroxidation and cell membrane damage, respectively.

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