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Toxicological consequences of experimental exposure to aluminum in human intestinal epithelial cells

Djouina M, Esquerre N, Desreumaux P, Vignal C, Body-Malapel M (2016)  Food Chem Toxicol. 91: 108-16. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2016.03.008. Epub 2016 Mar 17. 

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Aluminum (Al), a non-essential element, is ubiquitous in industrialized societies. Whereas adult intake is estimated between 3 and 12 mg/day according to dietary aluminum studies conducted in many countries, it is not known if aluminum may have a toxic effect on intestinal epithelium.

The aim of this work was to evaluate the cytotoxicity and RNA expression patterns induced in HT-29 cells by aluminum. Both classical toxicological methods and a global transcriptomic approach were used.

Cytotoxicity determined by MTT assay showed a time and dose dependent decrease of cell viability in aluminum treated cells compared to control cells. Cell cycle analysis by flow cytometry revealed that aluminum induced accumulation of cells in phase G0/G1, associated with a decrease in the proportion of cells in S and G2/M phases. Aluminum led to apoptosis as evidenced by nuclear morphology changes and mitochondrial membrane perturbations, and induced reactive oxygen species generation. Transcriptomic pattern argued in favor of pro-tumorigenic and pro-inflammatory effects of aluminum in intestinal epithelial cells.

These results highlight several pathways by which aluminum has a disturbing impact on intestinal epithelial cells, supporting that the effects of aluminum on intestine warrants further investigation.

Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


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