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Combined effects of gold nanoparticles and ionizing radiation on human prostate and lung cancer cell migration

The effect of 15 nm-sized gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) and/or ionizing radiation (IR) on the migration and adhesion of human prostate (DU145) and lung (A549) cancer cell lines was investigated. Cell migration was measured by observing the closing of a gap created by a pipette tip on cell monolayers grown in 6-well plates. The ratio of the gap areas at 0 h and 24 h were used to calculate the relative migration. The relative migration of cells irradiated with 5 Gy was found to be 89% and 86% for DU145 and A549 cells respectively. When the cells were treated with 1 mM AuNPs this fell to ~75% for both cell lines. However, when the cells were treated with both AuNPs and IR an additive effect was seen, as the relative migration rate fell to ~60%. Of interest was that when the cells were exposed to either 2 or 5 Gy IR, their ability to adhere to the surface of a polystyrene culture plate was significantly enhanced, unlike that seen for AuNPs. The delays in gap filling (cell migration) in cells treated with IR and/or AuNPs can be attributed to cellular changes which also may have altered cell motility. In addition, changes in the cytoskeleton of the cancer cells may have also affected adhesiveness and thus the cancer cell’s motility response to IR.
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