Cell Biology and Toxicology

, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 225–238

Toxicity and cellular responses of intestinal cells exposed to titanium dioxide

  • Brian A. Koeneman
  • Yang Zhang
  • Paul Westerhoff
  • Yongsheng Chen
  • John C. Crittenden
  • David G. Capco
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10565-009-9132-z

Cite this article as:
Koeneman, B.A., Zhang, Y., Westerhoff, P. et al. Cell Biol Toxicol (2010) 26: 225. doi:10.1007/s10565-009-9132-z

Abstract

The increasing use of nanomaterials in healthcare and industrial products heightens the possibility of their ingestion by humans, other mammals, and fish. While toxicity of many nanomaterials has recently been studied, reports of non-lethal effects of nanomaterials remain ill-defined. This study investigates possible pathways by which nanoparticles, titanium dioxide (TiO2), could cross the epithelium layer by employing both toxicity and mechanistic studies. This study provides evidence that at 10 μg/mL and above, TiO2 nanoparticles cross the epithelial lining of the intestinal model by transcytosis, albeit at low levels. TiO2 was able to penetrate into and through the cells without disrupting junctional complexes, as measured by γ-catenin. To monitor the epithelial integrity, transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER) was employed and determined low concentrations (10 or 100 μg/mL) of TiO2 do not disrupt epithelial integrity. Live/dead analysis results did not show cell death after exposure to TiO2. In addition, at 10 μg/mL (and above) TiO2 nanoparticles begin alteration of both microvillar organization on the apical surface of the epithelium as well as induce a rise in intracellular-free calcium. The latter is a mechanism cells use to respond to extracellular stimuli and may be linked to the alteration of the apical microvilli. Although TiO2 does not show cell death, the implication of other, non-lethal, effects could lead to undesired outcomes (i.e., disease, malnutrition, shortened life span, etc.).

Keywords

IntestineMicrovilliNanomaterialsTitanium dioxideToxicity

Abbreviations

TiO2

titanium dioxide

TEER

transepithelial electrical resistance

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian A. Koeneman
    • 1
  • Yang Zhang
    • 2
  • Paul Westerhoff
    • 2
  • Yongsheng Chen
    • 2
  • John C. Crittenden
    • 2
    • 3
  • David G. Capco
    • 1
  1. 1.Cellular and Molecular Biosciences Faculty, School of Life SciencesArizona State UniversityTempeUSA
  2. 2.Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, Ira A. Fulton School of EngineeringArizona State UniversityTempeUSA
  3. 3.School of Civil and Environmental EngineeringGeorgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA