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Differential Cytotoxic Effects of Titanium Oxide Nanoparticles on Peripheral Nervous System Neural Cells

S. Lu, A.R. Jaiswal, Y.Y.W. Wong, A. Bhushan, S.W. Leung, C.K. Daniels, J.C.K. Lai
Idaho State University College of Pharmacy, US

Keywords: titanium oxide nanoparticles, nanotoxicity, peripheral neural cells, DRG neurons, Schwann cells


The health impact of exposure to TiO2 nanoparticles is poorly documented although exposure to the particles is known to elicit inflammatory responses in lung tissue. We recently found treatment with TiO2 micro- or nanoparticles induce cell death in human astrocytes-like U87 astrocytoma cells and in normal human fibroblasts in a concentration-related manner. Because the cytotoxic effects of these nanoparticles in peripheral nervous system (PNS) neural cells have not been elucidated, we have developed two PNS neural cell models in vitro consisting of dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons and Schwann cells to facilitate the systematic investigation of such effects. We noted treatment with TiO2 nanoparticles lowered the survival of both DRG neurons and Schwann cells in a dose- and time-related manner, DRG neurons being more sensitive than Schwann cells to the effects. Thus, our findings may have pathophysiological implications in the impact of exposure to TiO2 nanoparticles on the structure and function of the PNS.
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