Cadmium-Containing Nanoparticles: Perspectives onPharmacology & Toxicology of Quantum Dots
Beverly A. Rzigalinski
Jeanine S. Strobl
Dept. of Pharmacology, Virginia College of Ostopathic Medicine, 1861 Pratt Drive, Blacksburg, VA,24060
The field of nanotechnology is rapidly expanding with the development of novelnanopharmaceuticals that have potential for revolutionizing medical treatment. The rapid pace of expansion in this field has exceeded the pace of pharmacological and toxicological research on theeffects of nanoparticles in the biological environment. The development of cadmium-containingnanoparticles, known as quantum dots, show great promise for treatment and diagnosis of cancer andtargeted drug delivery, due to their size-tunable fluorescence and ease of functionalization for tissuetargeting. However information on pharmacology and toxicology of quantum dots needs muchfurther development, making it difficult to assess the risks associated with this new nanotechnology.Further, nanotechnology poses yet another risk for toxic cadmium, which will now enter thebiological realm in nano-form. In this review, we discuss cadmium-containing quantum dots andtheir physicochemical properties at the nano-scale. We summarize the existing work onpharmacology and toxicology of cadmium-containing quantum dots and discuss perspectives in theirutility in disease treatment. Finally, we identify critical gaps in our knowledge of cadmium quantumdot toxicity, and how these gaps need to be assessed to enable quantum dot nanotechnology to transitsafely from bench to bedside.
Introduction and Scope
The health risks posed by cadmium toxicity have been investigated for over 50 years. Yetknowledge in this area is still expanding, as evidenced by the excellent reviews appearing inthis volume. At the level of the organism, cadmium toxicity is associated with liver and kidneyinjury, osteomalacia, osteoporosis, skeletal deformations, neurological, and other deficits.Cadmium is classified as a category 1 carcinogen, but is not directly genotoxic or mutagenicin bacteria. It is known to affect genome stability via inhibition of DNA repair and generationof free radical-induced DNA damage. At the cellular level, cadmium induces oxidative stressby depletion of endogenous antioxidants such as glutathione and is associated withmitochondrial damage, induction of apoptosis, and disruption of intracellular calciumsignaling. Despite the extensive studies on cadmium toxicity, there continues to be muchterritory left to cover regarding its mechanism of action, intracellular damage, andenvironmental exposure.
Corresponding Author: Beverly A. Rzigalinski, Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine, NanoNeuroLab, 1861 Pratt Drive, Blacksburg,VA 24060, Tel: 540-231-1744, Fax: 540-231-1373, E-mail: email@example.com, Jeanine S. Strobl, Virginia College of OsteopathicMedicine, Dept. of Pharmacology, 1861 Pratt Drive, Blacksburg, VA 24060, Tel: 540-231-1463, Fax: 540-231-1373, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is a PDF file of an unedited manuscript that has been accepted for publication. As a service to our customerswe are providing this early version of the manuscript. The manuscript will undergo copyediting, typesetting, and review of the resultingproof before it is published in its final citable form. Please note that during the production process errors may be discovered which couldaffect the content, and all legal disclaimers that apply to the journal pertain.
NIH Public Access
Toxicol Appl Pharmacol
. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2010 August 1.
Published in final edited form as:
Toxicol Appl Pharmacol
. 2009 August 1; 238(3): 280–288. doi:10.1016/j.taap.2009.04.010.
N I H -P A A u t h or M an u s c r i p t N I H -P A A u t h or M an u s c r i p t N I H -P A A u t h or M an u s c r i p t