Research Paper Volume 13, Issue 23 pp 25440—25452
Titanium dioxide nanoparticles perturb the blood-testis barrier via disruption of actin-based cell adhesive function
- 1 The First Affiliated Hospital, College of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310003, Zhejiang, China
- 2 The Sperm Laboratory, College of Life Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, Zhejiang, China
- 3 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Debrecens, Debrecen 4032, Hungary
- 4 CAS Key Laboratory for Biomedical Effects of Nanomaterials and Nanosafety and CAS Center for Excellence in Nanoscience, National Center for Nanoscience and Technology, Beijing 100190, China
- 5 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
Received: October 29, 2019 Accepted: August 11, 2021 Published: December 14, 2021https://doi.org/10.18632/aging.203763
How to Cite
Copyright: © 2021 Ni et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
As one of the most commonly used nanoparticles, titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO2-NPs) are widely used as coating reagents in cosmetics, medicine and other industries. The increasing risk of exposure to TiO2-NPs raises concerns about their safety. In this study, we investigated the mechanism by which TiO2-NPs cross the blood-testis barrier (BTB). TM-4 cells were selected as an in vitro Sertoli cell model of BTB. Cell viability, cell morphological changes, apoptosis, oxidative damage, and the expression levels of actin regulatory and tight junction (TJ) proteins were assessed in TM-4 cells treated with 3-nm and 24-nm TiO2-NPs. Cells treated with 3-nm TiO2-NPs exhibited increased cytotoxicity and decreased Annexin II expression, whereas cells treated with 24-nm TiO2-NPs exhibited increased Arp 3 and c-Src expression. Both TiO2-NPs induced significant oxidative stress, decreased the expression of TJ proteins (occludin, ZO-1 and claudin 5), damaged the TJ structure, and exhibited enlarged gaps between TM-4 cells. Our results indicated that both TiO2-NPs crossed the BTB by disrupting actin-based adhesive junctions of TM-4 cells; however, apoptosis was not observed. Our results provide new insights into how TiO2-NPs cross the BTB.