JBIC Journal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry

, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 547–557

Gadolinium-containing bioparticles as an active entity to promote cell cycle progression in mouse embryo fibroblast NIH3T3 cells

  • Jin-Xia Li
  • Jing-Cheng Liu
  • Kui Wang
  • Xiao-Gai Yang
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s00775-010-0622-5

Cite this article as:
Li, JX., Liu, JC., Wang, K. et al. J Biol Inorg Chem (2010) 15: 547. doi:10.1007/s00775-010-0622-5


In the present study, we demonstrated that gadolinium-containing particles formed in cell culture medium acted as a biologically active entity to mediate cell cycle progression in NIH3T3 cells. The particles were observed to accumulate at the cell surface by scanning electron microscopy. Energy-dispersive X-ray analysis was undertaken and confirmed that gadolinium was incorporated in the agglomerated particles. Moreover, the smaller gadolinium particles exhibited a stronger cell-cycle-promoting effect than the larger ones, but they shared the common signaling pathways. Both extracellular signal regulated kinase and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase signaling pathways were activated by gadolinium-containing particles and may account for their proliferation-promoting effect on NIH3T3 cells. Furthermore, the study showed that the free gadolinium ion released from gadolinium-containing particles may be responsible for the proliferation effect. This study will be helpful to clarify the biological effect of the insoluble species formed from Gd3+ as well as other multivalent metal ions under physiological conditions and will help to improve their medical applications.


Gadolinium-containing bioparticlesCell cycle progressionExtracellular-signal-regulated protein kinasePhosphatidylinositol 3-kinaseNephrogenic systemic fibrosis



Dulbecco’s modified Eagle’s medium


Dispersion Technology Software


Energy-dispersive X-ray


Extracellular-signal-regulated kinase


c-Jun N-terminal kinase


Mitogen-activated protein kinase


3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazoyl-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide


Nephrogenic systemic fibrosis


Phosphate-buffered saline


Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase


Retinoblastoma tumor suppressor protein


Reactive oxygen species


Scanning electron microscopy

Copyright information

© SBIC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jin-Xia Li
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jing-Cheng Liu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kui Wang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xiao-Gai Yang
    • 2
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Natural and Biomimetic Drugs, School of Pharmaceutical SciencesPeking UniversityBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Chemical Biology, School of Pharmaceutical SciencesPeking UniversityBeijingPeople’s Republic of China