Nanosize titanium dioxide cause neuronal apoptosis: a potential linkage between nanoparticle exposure and neural disorder

Neurol Res. 2008 Dec;30(10):1115-20. doi: 10.1179/0161641215Z.000000000587.


Objectives: Nanosize titanium dioxide is used in water and air decontamination and in numerous home appliances and products designed for direct human use. However, the impact of nanoparticle on biological system is not known to us. Therefore, it is our urgent and primary task to ascertain the information about safety and potential hazards of products derived from nanomaterial to the health of mankind.

Methods: We made use of MTT, bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU), and Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) assays to testify the biological impact of nanosize TiO2 on olfactory bulb neurons cultured in vitro.

Results: In this article, we elucidate the cytotoxicity of titanium dioxide to olfactory bulb neurons on cellular and molecular level. We come to a conclusion that nanosize titanium dioxide causes neuronal apoptosis, and it also down-regulate the expression of olfactory marker protein (OMP) and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH).

Discussion: These results show that a relationship between nanoparticle exposure and pathogeny of neurodegenerative diseases may exist.

Keywords: Apoptosis,; Neurodegenerative disease,; Olfactory bulb neuron; Titanium dioxide,.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • DNA Fragmentation / drug effects
  • Metal Nanoparticles / toxicity*
  • Neurons / drug effects*
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Olfactory Bulb / cytology
  • Rats
  • Titanium / toxicity*


  • titanium dioxide
  • Titanium