Zinc overload mediated by zinc oxide nanoparticles as innovative anti-tumor agentAbstract:
The predicted global cancer burden is expected to surpass 20 million new cancer cases by 2025. Despite recent advancement in tumor therapy, a successful cancer treatment remains challenging. The emerging field of nanotechnology offers great opportunities for diagnosis, imaging, as well as treatment of cancer. Zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NP) were shown to exert selective cytotoxicity against tumor cells via a yet unknown mechanism, most likely involving the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). These nanoparticles are a promising therapeutic opportunity as zinc is a nontoxic trace element and its application in medically-related products is considered to be safe. We could show that ZnO NP can exert cytotoxic effects on several human tumor cell lines. There can be found ZnO NP concentrations which selectively damage tumor cells while human fibroblasts do not sustain lasting damage. Cytotoxicity is attributable to the release of zinc ions from the nanoparticles outside the cells as well as to a direct cell-nanoparticle interaction. This involves uptake of the particles into the tumor cells. With a silica shell the cytotoxicity can be delayed which can help in the future for a safe transport in the blood stream. Cellular damage finally cumulates in apoptotic cell death via zinc overload within 48 h after treatment with ZnO NP. A therapeutical perspective could be the targeted accumulation of ZnO NP at the tumor side to induce local zinc overload that substantially damages the tumor cells with no or low side effects. We suggest further studies to explore the potential of ZnO NP as an innovative anti-tumor agent.
PMID 30115501 / Nadine Wiesmann, Martin Kluenker, Philipp Demuth, Walburgis Brenner, Wolfgang Tremel, Juergen Brieger