The long-term toxicity effects of gold nanoparticles (GNPs) on the proliferation and differentiation of a progenitor cell line, MG63 osteoblast-like cells, was investigated. These cells were treated for 20 hours with two media that contained 10 nm GNPs at concentrations of 1 ppm and 10 ppm. The mitosis of the GNP-treated MG63 was observed after at least 21 hours using dark-field and fluorescence microscopy. The TEM, LSCM and dark-field hyperspectral images indicated that the late endosomes in cells that contained aggregated GNPs were caused by vesicle fusion. Subsequently, after 21 days of being cultured in fresh medium, the specific nodule-like phenotypes and bone-associated gene expression of the treated MG63 cells exhibited the same behaviors as those of the control group. Statistically, after 21 days, the viability of the treated cells was identical to that of the untreated ones. During the cell death program analysis, the apoptosis and necrosis percentages of cells treated for 8 or fewer days were also observed to exhibit no significant difference with those of the untreated cells. In summary, our experiments show that the long-term toxicity of GNPs on the osteogenetic differentiation of MG63 is low. In addition, because of their low toxicity and non-biodegradability, GNPs can potentially be used as biomarkers for the long-term optical observation of the differentiation of progenitor or stem cells based on their plasmonic light-scattering properties. © 2013 Tsai et al.
S.-W., T., J.-W., L., Y.-C., K., M.-Y., H., C.-Y., L., L.-R., R., … Ye, T.-C. (2013). Internalized Gold Nanoparticles Do Not Affect the Osteogenesis and Apoptosis of MG63 Osteoblast-Like Cells: A Quantitative, In Vitro Study. PLoS ONE, 8(10), e76545. https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0076545