With the objective of finding an avenue for development of magnetic hyperthermia as an effective mesothelioma treatment, the influence of heating by magnetite nanoparticles (MNPs) with a diameter of ~ 40 nm, which were incorporated into cells and then subjected to AC magnetic field, on induction of cell death was investigated in all three histological subtypes of human mesothelioma cells (i.e., epithelioid NCI-H28, sarcomatoid NCI-H2052, and biphasic MSTO-211H cells). Cellular uptake of MNPs was observed in all cell types, but the amount of MNPs incorporated per cell into MSTO-211H cells was smaller than in NCI-H28 and NCI-H2052 cells. On the other hand, cell death induced by cellular uptake of MNPs was observed specifically in MSTO-211H cells. Hence, when cells are heated by intracellular MNPs under AC magnetic field, a high degree of cell mortality in NCI-H28 and NCI-H2052 cells is induced by the temperature increase derived from the high amount of intracellular MNPs, but the combination of intracellular heating and cell-type-specific toxicity of MNPs induced high rates of cell death in MSTO-211H cells even at a lower temperature. Almost all of the heated cells were dead after 24-h incubation at 37 °C in all histological subtypes. Additionally, higher mortalities were observed in all three types of mesothelioma cells after MNPs-heating, as compared to the heating with a thermostatic bath. Herein, the significance of cellular uptake of MNPs for effectively inducing cell death in mesothelioma has been demonstrated in vitro.
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