The effect of single and combined exposures to magnetite and polymorphous silicon dioxide nanoparticles on the human A549 cell line: in vitro study


The increasing trend of nanoparticle usage in science and technology has led to significant human exposure. Occupational exposure to iron oxides and silica dust has been reported in mining, manufacturing, construction, and pharmaceutical operations. The combined toxicological effects of nanoparticles and simultaneous exposure to other compounds have given rise to a new concern. The objective of this study was to investigate the toxicological effects of magnetite and polymorphous silicon dioxide nanoparticles in single and combined exposures. The polymorphous silicon dioxide nanoparticles were obtained from the milled quartz particles under 100 nm in diameter. The milled particles were purified through chloric and nitric acid wash processes. The toxic effects of the magnetite nanoparticles were investigated independently and in combination with quartz using the A549 cell line for durations of 24 and 72 h, and using diverse concentrations of 10, 50, 100, and 250 ?g/mL. MTT, ROS, mitochondrial membrane potential, and cell glutathione content assays were used to evaluate the amount of cell damage in this study. The statistical significance level in one-way ANOVA and independent t test was considered to be at the 5% confidence level. The size and purity of polymorphous silicon dioxide nanoparticles were measured by TEM and ICP-OES analysis, respectively. The particles’ diameters were under 100 nm and demonstrated a purity of higher than 99%. The toxicity results of this study showed a dependency on concentration and exposure duration in reducing the cell viability, cellular glutathione content, and mitochondrial membrane potential, as well as increasing the ROS generation in single and combined exposures with magnetite and polymorphous silicon dioxide nanoparticles. The toxic effects of combined exposure to these nanoparticles were less than the single exposures, and statistically significant antagonistic interactions were detected. Combined exposure to polymorphous silicon dioxide and magnetite nanoparticles, in comparison with their single exposures, could affect health in an antagonistic manner. Since this study has been the first of its kind, further studies investigating the health effects of single and combined exposures to these compounds are needed to verify our findings. Generally, studies such as this one could contribute to the field of combined toxicity effects.

Authors: Rafieepour A, Azari MR, Khodagholi F, Jaktaji JP, Mehrabi Y, Peirovi H.
; Full Source: Environmental Science & Pollution Research International. 2019 Sep 4. doi: 10.1007/s11356-019-06229-0. [Epub ahead of print]