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Sant'Ambrogio di Torino, Italy

Ekkapongpisit M.,University of Piemonte Orientale | Giovia A.,University of Piemonte Orientale | Follo C.,University of Piemonte Orientale | Caputo G.,University of Turin | And 2 more authors.
International Journal of Nanomedicine | Year: 2012

Background and methods: Nanoparticles engineered to carry both a chemotherapeutic drug and a sensitive imaging probe are valid tools for early detection of cancer cells and to monitor the cytotoxic effects of anticancer treatment simultaneously. Here we report on the effect of size (10-30 nm versus 50 nm), type of material (mesoporous silica versus polystyrene), and surface charge functionalization (none, amine groups, or carboxyl groups) on biocompatibility, uptake, compartmentalization, and intracellular retention of fluorescently labeled nanoparticles in cultured human ovarian cancer cells. We also investigated the involvement of caveolae in the mechanism of uptake of nanoparticles. Results: We found that mesoporous silica nanoparticles entered via caveolae-mediated endocytosis and reached the lysosomes; however, while the 50 nm nanoparticles permanently resided within these organelles, the 10 nm nanoparticles soon relocated in the cytoplasm. Naked 10 nm mesoporous silica nanoparticles showed the highest and 50 nm carboxyl-modified mesoporous silica nanoparticles the lowest uptake rates, respectively. Polystyrene nanoparticle uptake also occurred via a caveolae-independent pathway, and was negatively affected by serum. The 30 nm carboxyl-modified polystyrene nanoparticles did not localize in lysosomes and were not toxic, while the 50 nm amine-modified polystyrene nanoparticles accumulated within lysosomes and eventually caused cell death. Ovarian cancer cells expressing caveolin-1 were more likely to endocytose these nanoparticles. Conclusion: These data highlight the importance of considering both the physicochemical characteristics (ie, material, size and surface charge on chemical groups) of nanoparticles and the biochemical composition of the cell membrane when choosing the most suitable nanotheranostics for targeting cancer cells. © 2012 Ekkapongpisit et al, publisher and licensee Dove Medical Press Ltd.

Ekkapongpisit M.,University of Piemonte Orientale | Giovia A.,University of Piemonte Orientale | Nicotra G.,University of Piemonte Orientale | Ozzano M.,University of Piemonte Orientale | And 3 more authors.
International Journal of Nanomedicine | Year: 2012

Background: For a safe 'in vivo' biomedical utilization of nanoparticles, it is essential to assess not only biocompatibility, but also the potential to trigger unwanted side effects at both cellular and tissue levels. Mastocytes (cells having secretory granules containing cytokines, vasoactive amine, and proteases) play a pivotal role in the immune and inflammatory responses against exogenous toxins. Mastocytes are also recruited in the tumor stroma and are involved in tumor vascularization and growth. Aim and methods: In this work, mastocyte-like rat basophilic leukemia (RBL) cells were used to investigate whether carboxyl-modified 30 nm polystyrene (PS) nanoparticles (NPs) and naked mesoporous silica (MPS) 10 nm NPs are able to label the secretory inflammatory granules, and possibly induce exocytosis of these granules. Uptake, cellular retention and localization of fluorescent NPs were analyzed by cytofluorometry and microscope imaging. Results: Our findings were that: (1) secretory granules of mastocytes are accessible by NPs via endocytosis; (2) PS and MPS silica NPs label two distinct subpopulations of inflammatory granules in RBL mastocytes; and (3) PS NPs induce calcium-dependent exocytosis of inflammatory granules. Conclusion: These findings highlight the value of NPs for live imaging of inflammatory processes, and also have important implications for the clinical use of PS-based NPs, due to their potential to trigger the unwanted activation of mastocytes. © 2012 Ekkapongpisit et al, publisher and licensee Dove Medical Press Ltd.

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