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Arch Toxicol. 2011 Jul;85(7):799-812. doi: 10.1007/s00204-010-0636-3. Epub 2011 Jan 13.

Platinum nanoparticles and their cellular uptake and DNA platination at non-cytotoxic concentrations.

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Department of Food Chemistry and Toxicology, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.


Three differently sized, highly dispersed platinum nanoparticle (Pt-NP) preparations were generated by supercritical fluid reactive deposition (SFRD) and deposited on a β-cyclodextrin matrix. The average particle size and size distribution were steered by the precursor reduction conditions, resulting in particle preparations of <20, <100 and >100 nm as characterised by TEM and SEM. As reported previously, these Pt-NPs were found to cause DNA strand breaks in human colon carcinoma cells (HT29) in a concentration- and time-dependent manner and a distinct size dependency. Here, we addressed the question whether Pt-NPs might affect directly DNA integrity in these cells and thus behave analogous to platinum-based chemotherapeutics such as cisplatin. Therefore, DNA-associated Pt as well as the translocation of Pt-NPs through a Caco-2 monolayer was quantified by ICP-MS. STEM imaging demonstrated that Pt-NPs were taken up into HT29 cells in their particulate and aggregated form, but appear not to translocate into the nucleus or interact with mitochondria. The platinum content of the DNA of HT29 cells was found to increase in a time- and concentration-dependent manner with a maximal effect at 1,000 ng/cm(2). ICP-MS analysis of the cell culture medium indicated the formation of soluble Pt species, although to a limited extent. The observations suggest that DNA strand breaks mediated by metallic Pt-NPs are caused by Pt ions forming during the incubation of cells with these nanoparticles.

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