Original research article| Volume 81, ISSUE 4, P343-349, April 2010

Does over-exposure to copper ions released from metallic copper induce cytotoxic and genotoxic effects on mammalian cells?

  • Claudia A. Grillo
    Instituto de Investigaciones Fisicoqu��micas Te��ricas y Aplicadas (INIFTA, CCT-CONICET La Plata), Facultad de Ciencias Exactas, Departamento de Qu��mica, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, CC 16, Suc. 4 (1900) La Plata, Argentina
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  • Miguel A. Reigosa
    Instituto Multidisciplinario de Biolog��a Celular (IMBICE, CICPBA/CCT-CONICET La Plata), Calle 526 entre 10 y 11, (1900) La Plata, Argentina
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  • M��nica A. Fern��ndez Lorenzo de Mele
    Corresponding author. INIFTA (Instituto de Investigaciones Fisicoqu��micas Te��ricas y Aplicadas), Diag. 113 y 64, CC 16, Suc. 4, 1900 La Plata, Argentina. Tel.: +54 221 4257430 ext. 148.
    Instituto de Investigaciones Fisicoqu��micas Te��ricas y Aplicadas (INIFTA, CCT-CONICET La Plata), Facultad de Ciencias Exactas, Departamento de Qu��mica, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, CC 16, Suc. 4 (1900) La Plata, Argentina

    Facultad de Ingenier��a, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Calle 47 y 1, (1900) La Plata, Argentina
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      A high dissolution of copper from intrauterine devices (IUDs) occurs during the first days after insertion. This work is focused on the assessment of the possible cyto- and genotoxic effects of different concentrations of copper ions released from metallic copper on mammalian cells in vitro.

      Study Design

      Colorimetric tetrazolium/Trypan blue (TB) tests and Comet assay were used to evaluate potential cytotoxicity and genotoxicity, respectively, in Chinese hamster ovary cells (CHO-K1).


      Reduction of mitochondrial activity by copper ions was observed for extracts at ���7.42 mg/L concentrations, while TB exclusion test for plasma membrane integrity showed significant decrease in cell viability (close to 90%) for 10.85 mg/L concentration. Additionally, copper-induced DNA damage was detected for 5.67���7.42 mg/L concentration range.


      Our results demonstrate cytotoxic and genotoxic effects of copper ions released from metallic copper on CHO-K1 cells and emphasize the importance of reducing the initial copper dissolution from IUD without affecting the contraceptive action.


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