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Uptake and toxicity of copper oxide nanoparticles in cultured primary brain astrocytes
Link to Journal Abstract
To test for consequences of an exposure of brain cells to copper oxide nanoparticles (CuO-NPs), we synthesised and characterised dimercaptosuccinate-coated CuO-NPs. These particles had a diameter of around 5 nm as determined by transmission electron microscopy, while their average hydrodynamic diameter in aqueous dispersion was 136 ± 4 nm. Dispersion in cell-culture medium containing 10% fetal calf serum increased the hydrodynamic diameter to 178 ± 12 nm and shifted the zeta potential of the particles from –49 ± 7 mV (in water) to –10 ± 3 mV. Exposure of cultured primary brain astrocytes to CuO-NPs increased the cellular copper levels and compromised the cell viability in a time-, concentration- and temperature-dependent manner. Application of CuO-NPs in concentrations above 100 µM copper (6.4 µg/ml) severely compromised the viability of the cells, as demonstrated by a lowered 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide reduction capacity, a lowered cellular lactate dehydrogenase activity and an increased membrane permeability for the fluorescent dye propidium iodide. Copper internalisation as well as cell toxicity of astrocytes exposed to CuO-NPs were similar to that observed for cells that had been incubated with copper salts. The CuO-NP-induced toxicity was accompanied by an increase in the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the cells. Both, ROS formation and cell toxicity in CuO-NP-treated astrocytes, were lowered in the presence of the cell-permeable copper chelator tetrathiomolybdate. These data demonstrate that CuO-NPs are taken up by cultured astrocytes and suggest that excess of internalised CuO-NPs cause cell toxicity by accelerating the formation of ROS.
For this study, the authors synthesised and characterised dimercaptosuccinate-coated CuO-NPs
to test for consequences of an exposure of brain cells to copper oxide nanoparticles (CuO-NPs).
Peer Reviewed Journal Article
Exposure Or Hazard Target
Method Of Study
Risk Exposure Group
Nanotoxicology, 2014, 8(7): 775-785
Bulcke F, Thiel K, Dringen R
Last updated on December 18, 2013
This work is supported in part by the Nanoscale Science and Engineering Initiative of the National Science Foundation
under NSF Award Number EEC-0118007.
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