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Open AccessArticle

CdSe/ZnS Core-Shell-Type Quantum Dot Nanoparticles Disrupt the Cellular Homeostasis in Cellular Blood–Brain Barrier Models

1
Laboratory of Transcriptional Regulation, Institute for Medical Biology, PAS, Lodowa 106 Street, 93-232 Lodz, Poland
2
Laboratory of Virology, Institute for Medical Biology, PAS, Lodowa 106 Street, 93-232 Lodz, Poland
3
Laboratory of Cellular Immunology, Institute for Medical Biology, PAS, Lodowa 106 Street, 93-232 Lodz, Poland
4
Department of Molecular Biophysics, Faculty of Biology and Environmental Sciences, University of Lodz, Banacha 12/16, 90-237 Lodz, Poland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Luca Cucullo
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(3), 1068; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22031068
Received: 1 January 2021 / Revised: 13 January 2021 / Accepted: 20 January 2021 / Published: 22 January 2021
Two immortalized brain microvascular endothelial cell lines (hCMEC/D3 and RBE4, of human and rat origin, respectively) were applied as an in vitro model of cellular elements of the blood–brain barrier in a nanotoxicological study. We evaluated the impact of CdSe/ZnS core-shell-type quantum dot nanoparticles on cellular homeostasis, using gold nanoparticles as a largely bioorthogonal control. While the investigated nanoparticles had surprisingly negligible acute cytotoxicity in the evaluated models, a multi-faceted study of barrier-related phenotypes and cell condition revealed a complex pattern of homeostasis disruption. Interestingly, some features of the paracellular barrier phenotype (transendothelial electrical resistance, tight junction protein gene expression) were improved by exposure to nanoparticles in a potential hormetic mechanism. However, mitochondrial potential and antioxidant defences largely collapsed under these conditions, paralleled by a strong pro-apoptotic shift in a significant proportion of cells (evidenced by apoptotic protein gene expression, chromosomal DNA fragmentation, and membrane phosphatidylserine exposure). Taken together, our results suggest a reactive oxygen species-mediated cellular mechanism of blood–brain barrier damage by quantum dots, which may be toxicologically significant in the face of increasing human exposure to this type of nanoparticles, both intended (in medical applications) and more often unintended (from consumer goods-derived environmental pollution). View Full-Text
Keywords: nanoparticles; apoptosis; human brain endothelial cells; reactive oxygen species nanoparticles; apoptosis; human brain endothelial cells; reactive oxygen species
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kania, K.D.; Wagner, W.; Pułaski, Ł. CdSe/ZnS Core-Shell-Type Quantum Dot Nanoparticles Disrupt the Cellular Homeostasis in Cellular Blood–Brain Barrier Models. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22, 1068. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22031068

AMA Style

Kania KD, Wagner W, Pułaski Ł. CdSe/ZnS Core-Shell-Type Quantum Dot Nanoparticles Disrupt the Cellular Homeostasis in Cellular Blood–Brain Barrier Models. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2021; 22(3):1068. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22031068

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kania, Katarzyna D.; Wagner, Waldemar; Pułaski, Łukasz. 2021. "CdSe/ZnS Core-Shell-Type Quantum Dot Nanoparticles Disrupt the Cellular Homeostasis in Cellular Blood–Brain Barrier Models" Int. J. Mol. Sci. 22, no. 3: 1068. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22031068

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