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    Recent attention has been focused on reproductive toxicity of nanoscale materials in combination with pre-existing environmental pollutants. Due to its unique characteristics, bismuth (III) oxide (Bi2O3) nanoparticles (BONPs) are being used in diverse fields including cosmetics and biomedicine. Benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) is a known endocrine disruptor that most common sources of BaP exposure to humans are cigarette smoke and well-cooked barbecued meat. Hence, joint exposure of BONPs and BaP in humans is common. There is scarcity of information on toxicity of BONPs in combination with BaP in human reproductive system. In this work, combined effects of BONPs and BaP in mouse spermatogonia (GC-1 spg) cells were assessed. Results showed that combined exposure of BONPs and BaP synergistically induced cell viability reduction, lactate dehydrogenase leakage, induction of caspases (-3 and -9) and mitochondrial membrane potential loss in GC-1 spg cells. Co-exposure of BONPs and BaP also synergistically induced production of pro-oxidants (reactive oxygen species and hydrogen peroxide) and reduction of antioxidants (glutathione and several antioxidant enzymes). Experiments with N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC, a reactive oxygen species scavenger) indicated that oxidative stress was a plausible mechanism of synergistic toxicity of BONPs and BaP in GC-1 spg cells. Present data could be helpful for future in vivo research and risk assessment of human reproductive system co-exposed to BONPs and BaP.


    Maqusood Ahamed, Mohd Javed Akhtar, Mohd Abdul Majeed Khan, Hisham Abdulaziz Alhadlaq. Co-exposure of Bi2O3 nanoparticles and bezo[a]pyrene-enhanced in vitro cytotoxicity of mouse spermatogonia cells. Environmental science and pollution research international. 2021 Apr;28(14):17109-17118

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    PMID: 33394445

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