Effects of metallic ion toxicity on human gingival fibroblasts morphology

Regina L.W. Messer, Sanford Bishop, Linda C. Lucas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Alloys used as implant materials release metal ions to surrounding tissues. Cytotoxic substances attack at the molecular level, and these effects are reflected in the structure of the cells and organelles. The objective of this study was to evaluate the cellular morphology and ultrastructural changes of cultured human gingival fibroblasts to salt solutions of ions (beryllium (Be+2), chromium (Cr+6 and Cr+3), nickel (Ni+2), molybdenum (Mo+6)) which may be released from nickel-chromium dental alloys. The concentrations chosen were based on previously conducted cell culture studies. Fibroblasts were exposed to the different ion concentrations for 24 or 72h. Cellular morphology and ultrastructural features were examined using scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. Ultrastructural alterations observed included irregular shaped nuclei for cells exposed to hexavalent chromium and nickel, pseudopodia for cells exposed to beryllium and molybdenum, and lipid droplet formation in cells exposed to nickel. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1647-1657
Number of pages11
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Cytotoxicity
  • Metal ions
  • SEM
  • TEM
  • Ultrastructure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Biophysics
  • Biomaterials
  • Mechanics of Materials


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