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Toxicology. 2012 Dec 16;302(2-3):146-56. doi: 10.1016/j.tox.2012.09.005. Epub 2012 Oct 5.

Titanium dioxide nanoparticles inhibit proliferation and induce morphological changes and apoptosis in glial cells.

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Departamento de Biología Celular, Instituto Nacional de Cardiología "Ignacio Chávez", Mexico.


Titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO(2) NPs) are widely used in the chemical, electrical and electronic industries. TiO(2) NPs can enter directly into the brain through the olfactory bulb and be deposited in the hippocampus region. We determined the effect of TiO(2) NPs on rat and human glial cells, C6 and U373, respectively. We evaluated proliferation by crystal violet staining, internalization of TiO(2) NPs, and cellular morphology by TEM analysis, as well as F-actin distribution by immunostaining and cell death by detecting active caspase-3 and DNA fragmentation. TiO(2) NPs inhibited proliferation and induced morphological changes that were related with a decrease in immuno-location of F-actin fibers. TiO(2) NPs were internalized and formation of vesicles was observed. TiO(2) NPs induced apoptosis after 96h of treatment. Hence, TiO(2) NPs had a cytotoxic effect on glial cells, suggesting that exposure to TiO(2) NPs could cause brain injury and be hazardous to health.

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