Cytotoxic and cytostatic side effects of chitosan nanoparticles as a non-viral gene carrier
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Although chitosan nanoparticles (CNs) became a promising tool for several biological and medical applications owing to their inherent biocompatibility and biodegradability features, studies regarding their effects on cytotoxic and cytostatic properties still remain insufficient. Therefore, in the present study, we decided to perform comprehensive analysis of the interactions between CNs–pKindling-Red-Mito (pDNA) and different cell line models derived from blood system and human solid tissues cancers. The resulting CNs-pDNA was investigated in terms of their cellular uptake, transfection efficiency, and physico-chemical, cytotoxic and cytostatic properties. The nanoparticles showed high encapsulation efficiency and physical stability for various formulations even after two days time period. Moreover, high gene expression levels were observed after 96 h of transfection. CNs-pDNA treatment, despite the absence of oxidative stress induction, caused cell cycle arrest in G0/G1 phase and as a consequence led to premature senescence which turned out to be both p21-dependent and p21-independent. Also, observed DNMT2 upregulation may suggest the activation of different pathways protecting from the results of CNs-mediated stress. In conclusion, treatment of different cell lines with CNs-pDNA showed that their biocompatibility was limited and the effects were cell type-dependent.