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Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles Induce Rat Retinal Ganglion Cell Damage Through Bcl-2, Caspase-9 and Caspase-12 Pathways

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Nanomaterials, including zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles, are being developed for a variety of commercial products. Recent reports showed that cells exposed to ZnO nanoparticles produced severe cytotoxicity accompanied by oxidative stress and genotoxicity. To understand the possible mechanism underlying oxidative stress of ZnO nanoparticles, the present investigation focused on the direct bioactivity of ZnO nanoparticles using a rat retinal ganglion cell (RGC-5) culture. At concentrations relevant to those used in vitro exposure of RGC-5 cells to ZnO nanoparticles, it was found that ZnO nanoparticles could inhibit cell proliferation in time- and concentration-dependent manners. Meanwhile, cell cycle arrest of S and G2/M phases occurred in RGC-5 cells induced by ZnO nanoparticles. Moreover, our results also demonstrated that the overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and elevated level of caspase-12 as well as decreased levels of bcl-2 and caspase-9 occurred after treatment with different concentrations of ZnO nanoparticles when compared to those in untreated cells. In summary, our findings suggest that ZnO nanoparticles could lead to the over generations of ROS and caspase-12 as well as decreased levels of bcl-2 and caspase-9. These results indicate that bcl-2, caspase-9 and caspase-12 may play significant roles in ZnO nanoparticle-induced RGC-5 cell damage.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2013

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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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