Cells labelled with iron oxide nanoparticles (ION) can be tracked by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in several applications. However, various studies demonstrated toxicity and oxidative stress induction associated with nanoparticles exposure. We analysed biologic effects after the exposure of two types of iron oxide nanoparticles (with and without an antioxidative agent; an ascorbic acid) on human neural stem cells. The labelled cells in gel phantoms were detected in MRI and they showed decreased relaxation rates in comparison with control. ION slightly decreased cell proliferation in comparison with unlabelled cells, which was dependent on concentration and presence of ascorbic acid. None of the nanoparticle type showed negative effect on cell viability and both demonstrated minor effect on reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation. Unfortunately, ascorbic acid bound to nanoparticles did not show any effect on ROS attenuation. Cells exposed to both types of nanoparticles showed increased positivity for a phosphorylated form of H2AX a marker of double strand breaks. We showed that ION in low concentrations do not affect cell viability, but have negative effect on cells on DNA level. Their potential use for oxidative stress reduction is dependent on the concentration of ascorbic acid bound to the nanoparticles and this should be further increased.Keywords: neural stem cells, nanoparticles, oxidative stress, ascorbic acid
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