Figure 4. TG NPs induce autophagy in HK-2 cells. (A) The immunofluorescence staining for the LC3 protein in HK-2 cells treated with the TG NPs was observed using confocal microscopy. LC3 was detected with DyLight™ 488-conjugated secondary antibodies (green), and nuclei were stained with DAPI (blue). (B) Quantitative data calculating the number of LC3 dots are shown. Cells were treated with TG NPs for 24 h. *p < 0.05 versus the control. (C) Autophagy-related protein expression was measured by western blotting. Cells were treated with different concentrations of the TG NPs for 24 h. (D) Cell ultrastructure was observed using TEM. Cells were treated with TG NPs (100 nM) for 24 h. The arrows indicate autophagosomes and autolysosomes. The arrowheads indicate the ER. N indicates the nucleus.