Hepatotoxicity evaluations of different surface charged carbon quantum dots in vivo and in vitro

Yi-Chun CHEN, Hung-Hsiang CHEN, Han-Jia LIN, Chih-Ching HUANG, Ku Fan CHEN, Yen Ping PENG, Yiu Fai TSANG, Yan Hua CHEN, Kun Yi Andrew Lin, Chia Hua LIN

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

Abstract

Recently, carbon quantum dots (CQDs) have become popular because of their simple synthesis and potential applications. Although CQDs have high biocompatibility, their biotoxicity must be verified to reduce the possible risks associated with large-scale application. In this study, the hepatotoxicity of three CQD types, namely diammonium citrate (AC)-based (CQDs-AC), spermidine trihydrochloride (Spd)-based (CQDs-Spd), and AC- and Spd-based CQDs (CQDs-AC/Spd), were evaluated in vivo and in vitro. It was observed in vivo that CQDs-Spd and CQDs-AC/Spd, but not CQDs-AC, caused histopathological damage, including liver steatosis and mild mixed inflammatory cell infiltration; however, reduced liver function was only observed in CQD-Spd–treated mice. The in vitro results revealed that only CQDs-Spd significantly decreased the number of viable HepG2 cells (NADH depletion) and induced oxidative stress (heme oxygenase-1 activation) after 24 h of exposure, which promoted inflammatory factor secretion (NF-κB activation). Additionally, decreasing zonula occludens-2 and α1-antitrypsin protein expression in HepG2 cells suggested that CQD-Spd exposure increases the risk of liver diseases. Our results revealed that CQDs-Spd had greater hepatotoxic potential than CQDs-AC and CQDs-AC/Spd, which might be attributable to their high positive surface charge. Overall, the risk of CQD-induced hepatotoxic risk must be considered when applying positively charged CQDs. Copyright © 2024 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113760
JournalColloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces
Volume234
Early online dateJan 2024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024

Citation

Chen, Y.-C., Chen, H.-H., Lin, H.,-J., Huang, C.-C., Chen, K.-F., Peng, Y.-P., Tsang, Y. F., Chen, Y.-H., Lin, K.-Y., & Lin, C.-H. (2024). Hepatotoxicity evaluations of different surface charged carbon quantum dots in vivo and in vitro. Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces, 234, Article 113760. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.colsurfb.2024.113760

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