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Nanoscale ZnO Induces Cytotoxicity and DNA Damage in Human Cell Lines and Rat Primary Neuronal Cells

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The toxic effects of ZnO nanoparticles (nano-ZnO) (1–100 μg/mL) suspended in DMEM were examined in human A549 cells, HepG2 cells, human skin fibroblast cells, human skin keratinocytes, and rat primary neuronal cells for 24 h. Nano-ZnO induced dose dependent cytotoxicity and damaged cell membranes. Cell death was not mediated by reactive oxygen species (ROS) or apoptosis. Nano-ZnO induced DNA damage in rat primary neuronal cells, human fibroblasts, and A549 cells. The cytotoxicity of nano-ZnO in DMEM supplemented with 10% FBS, instead of serum free DMEM, was also examined in the A549 cells, human skin fibroblast cells, and human skin keratinocytes. The levels of cytotoxicity induced were similar to those tested without FBS; in addition, ROS was observed. These results indicate that the cause of cytotoxicity is medium dependent and imply that cellular growth conditions may play a significant role in induction of cytotoxicity and DNA damage by nano-ZnO.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 2012

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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