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Chromium(III) oxide nanoparticles induced remarkable oxidative stress and apoptosis on culture cells
- Horie, Masanori, Nishio, Keiko, Endoh, Shigehisa, Kato, Haruhisa, Fujita, Katsuhide, Miyauchi, Arisa, Nakamura, Ayako, Kinugasa, Shinichi, Yamamoto, Kazuhiro, Niki, Etsuo, Yoshida, Yasukazu, Iwahashi, Hitoshi
- Environmental toxicology 2013 v.28 no.2 pp. 61-75
- apoptosis, carcinoma, cell viability, chromium, culture media, cytotoxicity, industrial applications, nanoparticles, oxidative stress, reactive oxygen species
- Chromium(III) oxide (Cr₂O₃) is used for industrial applications such as catalysts and pigments. In the classical form, namely the fine particle, Cr₂O₃ is insoluble and chemically stable. It is classified as a low‐toxicity chromium compound. Recently, industrial application of nanoparticles (a new form composed of small particles with a diameter of ≤100 nm, in at least one dimension) has been increasing. Cellular effects induced by Cr₂O₃ nanoparticles are not known. To shed light upon this, the release of soluble chromium from Cr₂O₃ nano‐ and fine‐particles in culture medium was compared. Fine Cr₂O₃ particles were insoluble in the culture medium; on the contrary, Cr₂O₃ nanoparticles released soluble hexavalent chromium into the culture medium. Cr₂O₃ nanoparticles showed severe cytotoxicity. The effect of Cr₂O₃ nanoparticles on cell viability was higher than that of fine particles. Cr₂O₃ nanoparticles showed cytotoxicity equal to that of hexavalent chromium (K₂Cr₂O₇). Human lung carcinoma A549 cells and human keratinocyte HaCaT cells showed an increase in intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) level and activation of antioxidant defense systems on exposure to Cr₂O₃ nanoparticles. Exposure of Cr₂O₃ nanoparticles led to caspase‐3 activation, showing that the decrease in cell viability by exposure to Cr₂O₃ nanoparticles was caused by apoptosis. Cellular responses were stronger in the Cr₂O₃ nanoparticles‐exposed cells than in fine Cr₂O₃‐ and CrCl₃‐exposed cells. Cellular uptake of Cr₂O₃ particles were observed in nano‐ and fine‐particles. The cellular influence of the extracellular soluble trivalent chromium was lower than that of Cr₂O₃ nanoparticles. Cr₂O₃ nanoparticles showed cytotoxicity by hexavalent chromium released at outside and inside of cells. The cellular influences of Cr₂O₃ nanoparticles matched those of hexavalent chromium. In conclusion, Cr₂O₃ nanoparticles have a high cytotoxic potential. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Environ Toxicol 2013.