ABSTRACT: The in vitro labeling of therapeutic cells with nanoparticles (NPs) is becoming more and more common, but concerns about the possible effects of the NPs on the cultured cells are also increasing. In the present work, we evaluate the effects of poly(methacrylic acid)-coated 4 nm diameter Au NPs on a variety of sensitive and therapeutically interesting cell types (C17.2 neural progenitor cells, human umbilical vein endothelial cells, and PC12 rat pheochromocytoma cells) using a multiparametric approach. Using various NP concentrations and incubation times, we performed a stepwise analysis of the NP effects on cell viability, reactive oxygen species, cell morphology, cytoskeleton architecture, and cell functionality. The data show that higher NP concentrations (200 nM) reduce cell viability mostly through induction of reactive oxygen species, which was significantly induced at concentrations of 50 nM Au NPs or higher. At these concentrations, both actin and tubulin cytoskeleton were deformed and resulted in reduced cell proliferation and cellular differentiation. In terms of cell functionality, the NPs significantly impeded neurite outgrowth of PC12 cells up to 20 nM concentrations. At 10 nM, no significant effects on any cellular parameter could be observed. These data highlight the importance of using multiple assays to cover the broad spectrum of cell-NP interactions and to determine safe NP concentrations and put forward the described protocol as a possible template for future cell-NP interaction studies under comparable and standardized conditions.
ACS Nano 06/2012; 6(7):5767-83. · 10.77 Impact Factor