Cellular uptake and cytotoxicity of positively charged chitosan gold nanoparticles in human lung adenocarcinoma cells
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Cellular uptake, cytotoxicity, and mechanisms of cytotoxicity of the positively charged Au nanoparticles (NPs) were examined in A549 cells, which are one of the most characterized pulmonary cellular systems. Positively charged Au NPs were prepared by chemical reduction using chitosan. The dimension and surface charge of Au NPs were examined by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), dynamic light scattering, and zeta potential measurements. The uptake of Au NPs into A549 cells was also monitored using TEM and dark-field microscopy (DFM) and z-stack confocal microRaman spectroscopy. DFM live cell imaging was also performed to monitor the entry of chitosan Au NPs in real time. The cytotoxic assay, using both methylthiazol tetrazolium and lactate dehydrogenase assays revealed that positively charged Au NPs decreased cell viability. Flow cytometry, DNA fragmentation, real-time PCR, and western blot analysis suggest that positively charged chitosan Au NPs provoke cell damage through both apoptotic and necrotic pathways.
KeywordsNanoparticles Au Chitosan Cellular uptake Cytotoxicity
We acknowledge the financial support from the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology (2012-0000906, 2011-0027696, 2011-0014514) and the Development of Characterization Techniques for Nano-materials Safety Project of KRCF. This subject is supported by Korea Ministry of Environment as “Environmental Health R&D Program”.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.