Food and chemical toxicology : an international journal published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association

Nickel oxide nanoparticles induce cytotoxicity, oxidative stress and apoptosis in cultured human cells that is abrogated by the dietary antioxidant curcumin.

PMID 22273695


Nickel oxide nanoparticles (NiO NPs) are increasingly utilized in a number of applications. However, little is known about the toxicity of NiO NPs following exposure to human cells. This study was designed to investigate NiO NPs induced cytotoxicity, oxidative stress and apoptosis in cultured human airway epithelial (HEp-2) and human breast cancer (MCF-7) cells. The results show that cell viability was reduced by NiO NPs and degree of reduction was dose-dependent. NiO NPs were also found to induce oxidative stress in dose-dependent manner indicated by depletion of glutathione and induction of reactive oxygen species and lipid peroxidation. Induction of caspase-3 enzyme activity and DNA fragmentation, biomarkers of apoptosis were also observed in NiO NPs exposed cells. Preventive potential of a dietary antioxidant curcumin against NiO NPs induced toxicity in HEp-2 MCF-7 cells was further examined. We found that co-exposure of curcumin significantly attenuated the cytotoxicity and oxidative stress induced by NiO NPs in both types of cells. This is the first report showing that NiO NPs induced ROS mediated cytotoxicity and apoptosis that is abrogated by curcumin. The pharmacological potential of curcumin against NiO NPs induced toxicity warrants further investigation.

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