Self-Organizing Map Analysis of Toxicity-Related Cell Signaling Pathways for Metal and Metal Oxide Nanoparticles.
The response of a murine macrophage cell line exposed to a library of seven metal and metal oxide nanoparticles was evaluated via High Throughput Screening (HTS) assay employing luciferase-reporters for ten independent toxicity-related signaling pathways. Similarities of toxicity response among the nanoparticles were identified via Self-Organizing Map (SOM) analysis. This analysis, applied to the HTS data, quantified the significance of the signaling pathway responses (SPRs) of the cell population exposed to nanomaterials relative to a population of untreated cells, using the Strictly Standardized Mean Difference (SSMD). Given the high dimensionality of the data and relatively small data set, the validity of the SOM clusters was established via a consensus clustering technique. Analysis of the SPR signatures revealed two cluster groups corresponding to (i) sublethal pro-inflammatory responses to Al(2)O(3), Au, Ag, SiO(2) nanoparticles possibly related to ROS generation, and (ii) lethal genotoxic responses due to exposure to ZnO and Pt nanoparticles at a concentration range of 25-100 μg/mL at 12 h exposure. In addition to identifying and visualizing clusters and quantifying similarity measures, the SOM approach can aid in developing predictive quantitative-structure relations; however, this would require significantly larger data sets generated from combinatorial libraries of engineered nanoparticles.