Chromium VI induced cytoskeletal damage and cell death in isolated hepatocytes

M. Gunaratnam, M.H. Grant

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    Cr(VI) is a known human carcinogen. Although it has been investigated widely, the mechanism(s) of its action is/are not fully understood. The aim of this study was to evaluate Cr(VI)-induced damage to the cell cytoskeleton and the mode of cell death in primary cultures of hepatocytes. Exposure of the cultured cells (10(5)/cm(2)) to 1 and 5 microM Cr(VI) for 24 h resulted in loss of the cell cytoskeleton, and this was accompanied by membrane blebbing and shrinking of the cell. Staining of the cells with annexin V and propidium iodide showed that Cr(VI) induces apoptosis at low concentrations (5 microM), whereas at higher concentrations (25 microM) it induces necrosis. This study shows that Cr(VI) causes damage to the cell cytoskeleton, and induces apoptosis at low concentrations. However, the importance of necrosis and apoptosis in vivo, and the effects of longer exposure times, which simulate environmental and occupational exposure to Cr(VI), remain to be investigated.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationBiochemical Society Transactions
    Number of pages3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2002


    • chromium vI
    • cytoskeletal
    • cells
    • hepatocytes
    • bioengineering
    • biochemistry


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