ABSTRACT: Abstract In cell culture studies, foetal calf serum (FCS) comprising numerous different proteins is added, which might coat the surface of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) and thus could profoundly alter their biological activities. In this study, a panel of industrially most relevant metal oxide nanoparticles (NPs) was screened for toxic effects in A549 lung epithelial cells and RAW264.7 macrophages in the presence and absence of FCS. In medium without FCS amorphous SiO(2)-NPs were the most cytotoxic NPs and induced a significant pro-inflammatory response in both cell types. An increased anti-oxidative response after exposure to SiO(2)-NPs was, however, only observed in RAW264.7 macrophages. Furthermore, pre-coating of SiO(2)-NPs with FCS proteins or simply bovine serum albumin abrogated responses in A549 lung epithelial cells. Thus, the protein corona bound to the surface of SiO(2)-NPs suppresses their biological effects, an issue which needs to be more carefully considered for in vitro-in vivo extrapolations.
Nanotoxicology 01/2012; · 5.76 Impact Factor