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Nanomaterials (Basel). 2019 Aug 30;9(9). pii: E1233. doi: 10.3390/nano9091233.

In Vitro Analysis of the Effects of ITER-Like Tungsten Nanoparticles: Cytotoxicity and Epigenotoxicity in BEAS-2B Cells.

Author information

1
CNRS, IRD, IMBE, Avignon Université, Aix Marseille Université, 13005 Marseille, France.
2
CNRS, IRD, INRA, Coll France, CEREGE, Aix Marseille Université, 13545 Aix-en-Provence, France.
3
CNRS, LP3, Aix Marseille Université, 13005 Marseille, France.
4
CEA, CNRS, BIAM, Aix Marseille Université, 13108 Saint Paul-Lez-Durance, France.
5
CEA, IRAMIS UMR NIMBE, Université Paris Saclay, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette, France.
6
LSPM, Université Paris 13, UPR 3407 CNRS, 93430 Villetaneuse, France.
7
CEA, SCBM, Université Paris Saclay, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette, France.
8
INSERM, MMG, Aix Marseille Université, 13005 Marseille, France.
9
INFLPR, 409 Atomistilor Street, Magurele, 77125 Bucharest, Romania.
10
CEA, IRFM, 13108 Saint Paul lez Durance, France.
11
CNRS, IRD, IMBE, Avignon Université, Aix Marseille Université, 13005 Marseille, France. thierry.orsiere@imbe.fr.

Abstract

Tungsten was chosen as a wall component to interact with the plasma generated by the International Thermonuclear Experimental fusion Reactor (ITER). Nevertheless, during plasma operation tritiated tungsten nanoparticles (W-NPs) will be formed and potentially released into the environment following a Loss-Of-Vacuum-Accident, causing occupational or accidental exposure. We therefore investigated, in the bronchial human-derived BEAS-2B cell line, the cytotoxic and epigenotoxic effects of two types of ITER-like W-NPs (plasma sputtering or laser ablation), in their pristine, hydrogenated, and tritiated forms. Long exposures (24 h) induced significant cytotoxicity, especially for the hydrogenated ones. Plasma W-NPs impaired cytostasis more severely than the laser ones and both types and forms of W-NPs induced significant micronuclei formation, as shown by cytokinesis-block micronucleus assay. Single DNA strand breaks, potentially triggered by oxidative stress, occurred upon exposure to W-NPs and independently of their form, as observed by alkaline comet assay. After 24 h it was shown that more than 50% of W was dissolved via oxidative dissolution. Overall, our results indicate that W-NPs can affect the in vitro viability of BEAS-2B cells and induce epigenotoxic alterations. We could not observe significant differences between plasma and laser W-NPs so their toxicity might not be triggered by the synthesis method.

KEYWORDS:

BEAS-2B cells.; DNA damage; DNA methylation; cytotoxicity; epigenetics; in vitro testing; micronuclei formation; nanoparticles; tritiated particles; tungsten

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