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Toxicol Mech Methods. 2018 Feb;28(2):79-86. doi: 10.1080/15376516.2017.1364314. Epub 2017 Nov 22.

Analysis of cytotoxic effects of nickel on human blood lymphocytes.

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a Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy , Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences , Tehran , Iran.
b Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, School of Pharmacy , Ardabil University of Medical Science , Ardabil , Iran.


Nickel compounds possess many applications in different industrial processes. Human beings are exposed to nickel commonly through occupational exposure and food. Although a few studies so far have investigated the effects of nickel compounds on human lymphocytes, the complete mechanism of cytotoxicity of this metal on human lymphocytes is yet to be determined. The intention of this paper was to determine the cytotoxicity mechanism of water soluble NiCl2 toward human lymphocytes using the accelerated cytotoxicity mechanisms screening (ACMS) technique. Human lymphocytes were isolated from the blood of healthy subjects based on Ficoll-Paque PLUS standard method. For the assessment of cell viability, lymphocytes were incubated with 0.05-1 mM NiCl2 for 12 h. Determination of mechanistic parameters was performed 2, 4 and 6 h after treatment of cells with ½ EC5012h, EC5012h and 2EC5012h of NiCl2. Our results demonstrate that cytotoxicity of NiCl2 on human lymphocytes is associated with increased ROS formation, mitochondrial membrane potential collapse, glutathione depletion, lysosomal membrane damage, cellular proteolysis and activation of caspase-3 before cytotoxicity ensued.


Human lymphocytes; cellular proteolysis; cytotoxicity; nickel

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