Iron-related toxicity effects of single-walled carbon nanotubes in human placental cells (BeWo) investigated by X-ray fluorescence microscopy

Alessandra Gianoncelli, Francesca Cammisuli, Matteo Altissimo, Murielle Salomé, Oriano Radillo, Giuseppe Ricci, Silvia Giordani, Clara Rizzardi, Lorella Pascolo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

As the prospect of human beings exposed to new nanomaterials increases, there are growing concerns about the foetal exposure and effects of such nanomaterials during pregnancy. Among others, due to their ample usage, it becomes urgent to address the vulnerability of the human placental barrier to carbon nanotubes (CNTs). Recently, by applying a combination of advanced synchrotron-based X-ray microscopy and X-ray fluorescence (XRF) techniques, we demonstrated that raw single-walled CNTs (SWCNTs) may cause an asbestos-like iron-related toxicity in mesothelial (MeT5A) cells. This work shows the results obtained with the same approach and experimental conditions in human choriocarcinoma (BeWo) cells as a placental model. XRF microscopy in mild and soft X-ray regimes was used to map the distribution of P, S, Ca, and Fe in exposed and control cells, whereas absorption and phase-contrast imaging (soft X-ray microscopy) provided simultaneous morphological information. The findings show that exposure to SWCNTs affects cell viability and causes a small increase in intracellular iron content, further confirmed by the stimulation of the ferritin protein. It is interesting to note that the iron changes are negligible when highly purified SWCNTs are used. In all tested conditions, including exposure to iron sulfate, the iron accumulation or ferritin increase was much lower in BeWo cells than in MeT5A ones, suggesting a different iron metabolism and possibly a lower vulnerability of the placental barrier to iron-rich nanomaterials.

Original languageEnglish
JournalX-Ray Spectrometry
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018

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Fluorescence microscopy
Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCN)
Toxicity
Iron
X rays
Nanostructured materials
Ferritins
Microscopic examination
Carbon Nanotubes
Asbestos
Synchrotrons
Metabolism
Sulfates
Fluorescence
Cells
Imaging techniques
Proteins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Spectroscopy

Cite this

Iron-related toxicity effects of single-walled carbon nanotubes in human placental cells (BeWo) investigated by X-ray fluorescence microscopy. / Gianoncelli, Alessandra; Cammisuli, Francesca; Altissimo, Matteo; Salomé, Murielle; Radillo, Oriano; Ricci, Giuseppe; Giordani, Silvia; Rizzardi, Clara; Pascolo, Lorella.

In: X-Ray Spectrometry, 01.01.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Gianoncelli, Alessandra ; Cammisuli, Francesca ; Altissimo, Matteo ; Salomé, Murielle ; Radillo, Oriano ; Ricci, Giuseppe ; Giordani, Silvia ; Rizzardi, Clara ; Pascolo, Lorella. / Iron-related toxicity effects of single-walled carbon nanotubes in human placental cells (BeWo) investigated by X-ray fluorescence microscopy. In: X-Ray Spectrometry. 2018.
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