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Effects of titanium dioxide nanoparticles on porcine pre-pubertal sertoli cells

Cite this dataset

Mancuso, Francesca et al. (2022). Effects of titanium dioxide nanoparticles on porcine pre-pubertal sertoli cells [Dataset]. Dryad.


This dataset contains data from an in vitro experiment described in the paper: “Mancuso F, Arato I, Di Michele A, Antognelli C, Angelini L, Bellucci C, Lilli C, Boncompagni S, Fusella A, Bartolini D, Russo C, Moretti M, Nocchetti M, Gambelunghe A, Muzi G, Baroni T, Giovagnoli S, Luca G. Effects of Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticles on Porcine Prepubertal Sertoli Cells: An "In Vitro" Study. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2022 Jan 3;12:751915. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2021.751915. PMID: 35046890; PMCID: PMC87623342”.

The data describes the X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis to confirm the correct synthesis of titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO2 NPs), and the transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analysis to investigate the morphological/ultrastructural effects on porcine pre-pubertal Sertoli cells (SCs), after an acute (24 hours) and chronic (from 1 up to 3 weeks) exposure, at both sub-toxic (5 µg/ml) and toxic (100 µg/ml) doses of TiO2 NPs.

The diffractogram confirmed the correct synthesis of TiO2 NPs in accordance with the International Centre for Diffraction Data Sample (JCPDS 00-001-0562) and the asterisk (*) represents the peaks of TiO NPs in anatase form; SEM analysis showed that the mean size distribution of TiO2 NPs in dry form was 20 ± 5 nm and confirmed that TiO2 NPs tend to form aggregates of submicrometric dimensions;

Representative TEM images of unexposed SCs showed elongated oval or spindle-shaped SCs containing quite large nuclei (N) and abundant mitochondria. SCs did not show substantial and/or severe ultrastructural alterations in SCs treated with 5 µg/ml TiO2 NPs for 1 and 2 weeks, in all the other exposure conditions (5 µg/ml for 3 weeks and 100 µg/ml for 1, 2, and 3 weeks), SCs showed several ultrastructural changes with a high percentage of severely damaged SCs, presenting different features of cell stress such as deeply invaginated and shrunk nuclei, disorder/ marginalization of chromatin components, swollen very fragmented, or almost completely missing endoplasmic reticulum membranes. In addition, mitochondrial morphology was severely affected and mitochondria number dramatically decreased with the presence of several large vacuoles, probably as a result of apoptotic mitochondria and/or enlarged endoplasmic reticulum and/or increased frequency of lipid droplets.

The main results of the experiments are that long time constant exposure of SCs at both TiO2 NPs concentrations inevitably led to an altered ultrastructure.


The dataset was collected during an in vitro study in the University of Perugia and University of Chieti-Pescara and has been processed to produce an article accepted for publication in Frontiers in Endocrinology.

The synthesis of the nanoparticles was performed by sonochemical method using acoustic cavitation  at the Laboratory of Acoustic Cavitation of the Department of Physics and Geology of the University of Perugia.  XRD was evaluated at room temperature with the diffractometer Philips X'Pert PRO MPD (Malvern Panalytical Ltd., Royston, UK) operating at 40kW/40 mA with step size of 0.017° and a step scan of 70s, using a Cu Kα radiation and X-Celerator detector.

SEM analysis was performed using a LEO 1525 Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope, ZEISS (Jena, Germany) at the University of Perugia.

TEM analysis was performed using a Morgagni Series 268D electron microscope (FEI Company, Brno, Czech Republic) equipped with a Megaview III digital camera and Analy-SIS software (Olympus Soft Imaging Solutions) at the University of Chieti-Pescara.

Usage notes

The readme file contains a clear explanation of the chemical-structural characterization of the synthesized TiO2 NPs.

In TEM images, red circles and asterisks indicate TiO2 NPs deposition, small red arrows indicate nuclear membrane invaginations, large red arrows indicate enlarged endoplasmic reticulum, black arrows point to chromatin marginalization. 

More information can be found in the associated manuscript referenced above.


Fondazione Cassa Risparmio Perugia, Award: 2019.0382.029.