Effect of four lanthanides onto the viability of two mammalian kidney cell lines

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review



Exposure to lanthanides (Ln) poses a serious health risk to animals and humans. Since Ln are mainly excreted with urine, we investigated the effect of La, Ce, Eu, and Yb exposure on renal rat NRK-52E and human HEK-293 cells for 8, 24, and 48 h in vitro. Cell viability studies using the XTT assay and microscopic investigations were combined with solubility and speciation studies using ICP-MS and TRLFS. Thermodynamic modeling was applied to predict the speciation of Ln in the cell culture medium. All Ln show a concentration- and time-dependent effect on both cell lines with Ce being the most potent element. In cell culture medium, the Ln are completely soluble and most probably complexed with proteins from fetal bovine serum. The results of this study underline the importance of combining biological, chemical, and spectroscopic methods in studying the effect of Ln on cells in vitro and may contribute to the improvement of the current risk assessment for Ln in the human body. Furthermore, they demonstrate that Ln seem to have no effect on renal cells in vitro at environmental trace concentrations. Nevertheless, especially Ce has the potential for harmful effects at elevated concentrations observed in mining and industrial areas.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)469-481
Number of pages13
JournalEcotoxicology and environmental safety
Publication statusPublished - 30 May 2019

External IDs

PubMed 30802736
ORCID /0000-0001-5397-7972/work/142245275


Sustainable Development Goals


  • Cytotoxicity, F-elements, Renal cells, Thermodynamic modeling, Time-resolved laser-induced fluorescence spectroscopy, XTT