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Chemosphere. 2016 Apr;149:57-61. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2016.01.077. Epub 2016 Feb 3.

Role of bentonite clays on cell growth.

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Departamento de Procesos y Tecnología, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, México; Earth Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA, USA; NASA Astrobiology Institute, USA. Electronic address:
Laboratorio de Pruebas Biológicas, Instituto de Química, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad Universitaria México City, México.
BGR Bundesansaltfür Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe, Stilleweg 2, D-30655 Hannover, Germany.
Direccion de Investigación y Posgrado, Instituto Mexicano del Petróleo, México.


Bentonites, naturally occurring clays, are produced industrially because of their adsorbent capacity but little is known about their effects on human health. This manuscript reports on the effect of bentonites on cell growth behaviour. Bentonites collected from India (Bent-India), Hungary (Bent-Hungary), Argentina (Bent-Argentina), and Indonesia (Bent-Indonesia) were studied. All four bentonites were screened in-vitro against two human cancer cell lines [U251 (central nervous system, glioblastoma) and SKLU-1 (lung adenocarcinoma)] supplied by the National Cancer Institute (USA). Bentonites induced growth inhibition in the presence of U251 cells, and growth increment in the presence of SKLU-1 cells, showing that interactions between bentonite and cell surfaces were highly specific. The proliferation response for U251 cells was explained because clay surfaces controlled the levels of metabolic growth components, thereby inhibiting the development of high-grade gliomas, particularly primary glioblastomas. On the other hand, the proliferation response for SKLU-1 was explained by an exacerbated growth favoured by swelling, and concomitant accumulation of solutes, and their hydration and transformation via clay-surface mediated reactions.


Cell proliferation response; Swelling

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