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Toxicol Lett. 2010 Jun 16;196(1):21-7. doi: 10.1016/j.toxlet.2010.03.014. Epub 2010 Apr 1.

Titanium dioxide nanoparticles cause apoptosis in BEAS-2B cells through the caspase 8/t-Bid-independent mitochondrial pathway.

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Environmental Health Science & Cancer Center, 1440 Canal Street, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA.


To understand the underlying mechanism for apoptosis induced by titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TNP), human airway epithelial cell line was cultured to investigate the relevant apoptosis pathways. Our results showed that the levels of reactive oxygen species and morphological apoptosis increased in a dose-dependent manner whereas cell viability decreased in a similar manner in response to TNP exposure in the BEAS-2B cells. The activities of caspase 3 and PARP were also increased in parallel to the morphological apoptosis. Levels of caspase 9 increased significantly whereas there were no detectable changes in caspase 8 and t-Bid in the TNP treated cells. Caspase 9 inhibition blocked the TNP-induced activation of caspase 3 significantly. The levels of bax, cytochrome C, p53 and bcl-2 also changed reflecting the activation of intrinsic apoptosis pathway. Our results provide solid evidence that apoptosis in BEAS-2B cells exposed to TNP occurred via a mitochondrial apoptosis pathway independent of caspase 8/t-Bid pathway.

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