American Journal of Biochemistry and Biotechnology


Jinghui Zheng, Theresia Schnurr, Kriya Dunlap, Deben Das and Lawrence Duffy

DOI : 10.3844/ajbbsp.2014.116.124

American Journal of Biochemistry and Biotechnology

Volume 10, Issue 2

Pages 116-124


The Arctic and sub-arctic regions are impacted by the growth of the global nanotechnology industry and the transport of chemicals to the North. New nanotechnology industries, such as neural prothesis, are bringing nanomaterials in direct contact with neurons and glial cells. Nanomaterials have unique chemical and physical properties that may lead to toxicological effects by interfering with normal cellular metabolism. Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) are now very common and widely used in daily life. Over the last decade there have been reports that ZnO NPs can have negative impacts on plants and simple organisms. However, there is a paucity of research on the effects and mechanisms by which ZnO NPs impact neuronal cells. This report investigates how ZnO NPs interact with the neuroblastoma cell line SH-SY5Y. Using transmission electron microscopy, we observed that the ZnO NPs form 36 nm particles, on average and increased the level of the cytokine VEGF in extracellular fluid. Moreover, ZnO NPs, in presence of TNF-α, decreased the level of extracellular VEGF when compared with TNF-α treatment alone. These findings suggest a basis for further studies on the interactions of ZnO NPs with signal transduction pathways and their impact on the release of cytokines. The importance of developing cellular model systems to evaluate the toxicity of nanomaterials before they are released to the marketplace will benefit both the ecosystem and human health.


© 2014 Jinghui Zheng, Theresia Schnurr, Kriya Dunlap, Deben Das and Lawrence Duffy. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.