- •Hydroxyl radical yield could be promoted in presence of AuNPs under the irradiations of X-rays and carbon ions in vitro.
- •It demonstrates that the cell-killing effect both for X-rays and carbon ions could be enhanced by AuNPs in cells.
- •The radiation enhancement effect of AuNPs depended on its concentrations in PBS solution and inside cells.
- •No important change in cell cycle distribution due to the presence of AuNPs was observed.
We examined the dependence of hydroxyl radical production on the concentration of 15 nm citrate-capped AuNPs and dose using coumarin-3-carboxylic acid in phosphate buffered saline (PBS), and investigated the radiosensitisation of different concentration AuNPs on human cervix carcinoma HeLa cells through clonogenic survival assay for X-rays and carbon ions. The enhancement factor of AuNPs for hydroxyl radical production reached a maximum 3.66 for X-rays at the concentration of 0.1 μg/mL while the maximum was 5.52 for carbon ions in presence of 1.0 μg/mL AuNPs in PBS. At 50% survival level, the sensitizer enhancement ratios of X-rays and carbon ions varied from 1.14 to 2.88 and from 1.27 to 1.44, respectively, when cells were co-cultured with 1.5–15.0 μg/mL AuNPs. Our data indicate AuNPs showed radiosensitisation in terms of hydroxyl radical production and cell killing for low- and high-LET radiations. The concentration of AuNPs in PBS and cells played an important role in radiosensitizing effect. Based on the fact-the AuNPs in PBS could improve the production of hydroxyl radical and no accumulation of cells in the G2/M phase was observed, we deduce that the increment of hydroxyl radical production with AuNPs provided a mechanism for radiosensitisation.
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Published online: February 01, 2015
Accepted: January 16, 2015
Received in revised form: January 14, 2015
Received: September 17, 2014
© 2015 Associazione Italiana di Fisica Medica. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.