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Nanomaterials (Basel). 2018 May 31;8(6). pii: E388. doi: 10.3390/nano8060388.

The Effects of Carbon Dots on Immune System Biomarkers, Using the Murine Macrophage Cell Line RAW 264.7 and Human Whole Blood Cell Cultures.

Author information

1
Department of Medical Bioscience, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town 7535, South Africa. 2917132@myuwc.ac.za.
2
Department of Medical Bioscience, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town 7535, South Africa. 3242832@myuwc.ac.za.
3
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA. mbb229@mail.missouri.edu.
4
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA. fidalgom@missouri.edu.
5
Department of Medical Bioscience, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town 7535, South Africa. epool@uwc.ac.za.

Abstract

Carbon dots (CDs) are engineered nanoparticles that are used in a number of bioapplications such as bioimaging, drug delivery and theranostics. The effects of CDs on the immune system have not been evaluated. The effects of CDs on the immune system were assessed by using RAW 264.7 cells and whole blood cell cultures. RAW cells were exposed to CD concentrations under basal conditions. Whole blood cell cultures were exposed to CD concentrations under basal conditions or in the presence of the mitogens, lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or phytohaemmagglutinin (PHA). After exposure, a number of parameters were assessed, such as cell viability, biomarkers of inflammation, cytokine biomarkers of the acquired immune system and a proteome profile analysis. CDs were cytotoxic to RAW and whole blood cell cultures at 62.5, 250 and 500 μg/mL, respectively. Biomarkers associated with inflammation were induced by CD concentrations ≥250 and 500 μg/mL under basal conditions for both RAW and whole blood cell cultures, respectively. The humoral immune cytokine interleukin (IL)-10 was increased at 500 μg/mL CD under both basal and PHA activated whole blood cell culture conditions. Proteome analysis supported the inflammatory data as upregulated proteins identified are associated with inflammation. The upregulated proteins provide potential biomarkers of risk that can be assessed upon CD exposure.

KEYWORDS:

carbon dots; cytotoxicity; induced inflammation

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