Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles Induced Apoptosis and Necrosis in Hepatocellular Carcinoma HepG2 Cells

S.M. Tadinada, M.B. Lai, V.K. Idikuda, K. Mukka, M.R.M. Singh, J. Pfau, A. Bhushan, S.W. Leung, J.C.K. Lai
Idaho State University College of Pharmacy, US

Keywords: zinc oxide nanoparticles, nanotoxicity, apoptosis, necrosis, HepG2 cells


Targeted drug delivery systems with minimal potential adverse/side effects are gaining utility in diverse applications. Uses of nanomaterials to design such targeted drug delivery are escalating exponentially. Nevertheless, the biocompatibility of nanomaterials is inadequately addressed. Consequently, among our systematic investigation of putative cytotoxic effects of nanomaterials in mammalian cell types, this study aims to elucidate mechanisms underlying the putative cytotoxic effects of ZnO nanoparticles in hepatocellular carcinoma HepG2 cells. Our results demonstrate that these nanoparticles exerted dose-related decreases in survival of HepG2 cells. Findings from flow cytometry analysis and lactate dehydrogenase release assays reveal that the mode of cell death underlying the effects of the nanoparticle was a combination of apoptotic and necrotic cell death, while the percentage of necrotic cells predominated at higher treatment concentrations. Thus, our findings may have pathophysiological implications in biocompatibility of ZnO nanoparticles.