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Toxicology. 2008 Mar 12;245(1-2):90-100. doi: 10.1016/j.tox.2007.12.022. Epub 2008 Jan 3.

Oxidative stress induced by cerium oxide nanoparticles in cultured BEAS-2B cells.

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College of Pharmacy, Dongduk Women's University, 23-1, Wolgok-dong, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul 136-714, Republic of Korea.


Cerium oxide nanoparticles of different sizes (15, 25, 30, 45 nm) were prepared by the supercritical synthesis method, and cytotoxicity was evaluated using cultured human lung epithelial cells (BEAS-2B). Exposure of the cultured cells to nanoparticles (5, 10, 20, 40 microg/ml) led to cell death, ROS increase, GSH decrease, and the inductions of oxidative stress-related genes such as heme oxygenase-1, catalase, glutathione S-transferase, and thioredoxin reductase. The increased ROS by cerium oxide nanoparticles triggered the activation of cytosolic caspase-3 and chromatin condensation, which means that cerium oxide nanoparticles exert cytotoxicity by an apoptotic process. Uptake of the nanoparticles to the cultured cells was also tested. It was observed that cerium oxide nanoparticles penetrated into the cytoplasm and located in the peri-region of the nucleus as aggregated particles, which may induce the direct interaction between nanoparticles and cellular molecules to cause adverse cellular responses.

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