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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(10), 13435-13454; doi:10.3390/ijerph121013435

Threshold Dose of Three Types of Quantum Dots (QDs) Induces Oxidative Stress Triggers DNA Damage and Apoptosis in Mouse Fibroblast L929 Cells

1
Key Laboratory of Environmental Medicine Engineering, Ministry of Education, School of Public Health, Southeast University, Nanjing 210009, China
2
Jiangsu Key Laboratory for Biomaterials and Devices, Southeast University, Nanjing 210009, China
3
Wuxi Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Wuxi 214023, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul Tchounwou
Received: 7 October 2015 / Revised: 21 October 2015 / Accepted: 22 October 2015 / Published: 26 October 2015
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Abstract

Although it has been reported that fluorescent quantum dots (QDs) have obvious acute toxic effects in vitro, their toxic effects at low doses or threshold doses are still unknown. Therefore, we evaluated the biological histocompatibility and in vitro toxicity of three types of QDs at threshold doses. Also, we compared the toxic effects of QDs with different raw chemical compositions and sizes. The results showed that low concentrations of QDs (≤7 μg/mL) had no obvious effect on cell viability and cell membrane damage, oxidative damage, cell apoptosis or DNA damage. However, QD exposure led to a significant cytotoxicity at higher doses (≥14 μg/mL) and induced abnormal cellular morphology. In addition, when comparing the three types of QDs, 2.2 nm CdTe QDs exposure showed a significantly increased proportion of apoptotic cells and significant DNA damage, suggesting that size and composition contribute to the toxic effects of QDs. Based on these discussions, it was concluded that the concentration (7 μg/mL) may serve as a threshold level for these three types of QDs only in L929 fibroblasts, whereas high concentrations (above 14 μg/mL) may be toxic, resulting in inhibition of proliferation, induction of apoptosis and DNA damage in L929 fibroblasts. View Full-Text
Keywords: oxidative stress; apoptosis; DNA damage; threshold doses; cytotoxicity oxidative stress; apoptosis; DNA damage; threshold doses; cytotoxicity
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Zhang, T.; Wang, Y.; Kong, L.; Xue, Y.; Tang, M. Threshold Dose of Three Types of Quantum Dots (QDs) Induces Oxidative Stress Triggers DNA Damage and Apoptosis in Mouse Fibroblast L929 Cells. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 13435-13454.

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