Copper oxide nanoparticles induce oxidative stress and cytotoxicity in airway epithelial cells

Baher Fahmy, Stephania Cormier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

264 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Metal oxide nanoparticles are often used as industrial catalysts and elevated levels of these particles have been clearly demonstrated at sites surrounding factories. To date, limited toxicity data on metal oxide nanoparticles are available. To understand the impact of these airborne pollutants on the respiratory system, airway epithelial (HEp-2) cells were exposed to increasing doses of silicon oxide (SiO2), ferric oxide (Fe2O3) and copper oxide (CuO) nanoparticles, the leading metal oxides found in ambient air surrounding factories. CuO induced the greatest amount of cytotoxicity in a dose-dependent manner; while even high doses (400 μg/cm2) of SiO2 and Fe2O3 were non-toxic to HEp-2 cells. Although all metal oxide nanoparticles were able to generate ROS in HEp-2 cells, CuO was better able to overwhelm antioxidant defenses (e.g. catalase and glutathione reductase). A significant increase in the level of 8-isoprostanes and in the ratio of GSSG to total glutathione in cells exposed to CuO suggested that ROS generated by CuO induced oxidative stress in HEp-2 cells. Co-treatment of cells with CuO and the antioxidant resveratrol increased cell viability suggesting that oxidative stress may be the cause of the cytotoxic effect of CuO. These studies demonstrated that there is a high degree of variability in the cytotoxic effects of metal oxides, that this variability is not due to the solubility of the transition metal, and that this variability appears to involve sustained oxidative stress possibly due to redox cycling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1365-1371
Number of pages7
JournalToxicology in Vitro
Volume23
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2009

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Oxidative stress
Copper oxides
Cytotoxicity
Nanoparticles
Metal Nanoparticles
Oxides
Copper
Oxidative Stress
Epithelial Cells
Metals
8-epi-prostaglandin F2alpha
Industrial plants
Antioxidants
Cells
Respiratory system
Glutathione Disulfide
Glutathione Reductase
Silicon oxides
Catalase
Transition metals

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Toxicology

Cite this

Copper oxide nanoparticles induce oxidative stress and cytotoxicity in airway epithelial cells. / Fahmy, Baher; Cormier, Stephania.

In: Toxicology in Vitro, Vol. 23, No. 7, 01.10.2009, p. 1365-1371.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Fahmy, Baher ; Cormier, Stephania. / Copper oxide nanoparticles induce oxidative stress and cytotoxicity in airway epithelial cells. In: Toxicology in Vitro. 2009 ; Vol. 23, No. 7. pp. 1365-1371.
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