The invasion and reproductive toxicity of QDs-transferrin bioconjugates on preantral follicle in vitro

Gaixia Xu, Suxia Lin, Wing Cheung Law, Indrajit Roy, Xiaotan Lin, Shujiang Mei, Hanwu Ma, Siping Chen, Hanben Niu, Xiaomei Wang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


The toxicity of QD has been extensively studied over the past decade. However, the potential toxicity of QDs impedes its use for clinical research. In this work, we established a preantral follicle in vitro culture system to investigate the effects of QD-Transferrin (QDs-Tf) biocon-jugates on follicle development and oocyte maturation. The preantral follicles were cultured and exposed to CdTe/ZnTe QDs-Tf bioconjugates with various concentrations and the re-productive toxicity was assessed at different time points post-treatment. The invasion of QDs-Tf for oocytes was verified by laser scanning confocal microscope. Steroid production was evaluated by immunoassay. C-band Giemsa staining was performed to observe the chromosome abnormality of oocytes. The results showed that the QDs-Tf bioconjugates could permeate into granulosa cells and theca cells, but not into oocyte. There are no obvious changes of oocyte diameter, the mucification of cumulus-oocyte-complexes and the occur-rence of aneulpoidy as compared with the control group. However, delay in the antrum formation and decrease in the ratio of oocytes with first polar body were observed in QDs-Tf-treated groups. The matured oocytes with first polar body decreased significantly by ~16% (from 79.6±10 % to 63±2.9 %) when the concentration of QDs-Tf bioconjugates ex-ceeded 2.89 nmol·L-1 (P < 0.05). Our results implied that the CdTe/ZnTe QDs-Tf biocon-jugates were reproductive toxic for follicle development, and thus also revealed that this in vitro culture system of preantral follicle is a highly sensitive tool for study on the reproductive toxicity of nanoparticles.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)734-745
Number of pages12
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 14 Sept 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • In vitro culture system
  • Invasion
  • Preantral follicle
  • Qds-transferrin bioconjugate
  • Reproductive toxicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics (miscellaneous)


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