2-Hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA) is a methacrylate monomer used in polymer-based dental-restorative materials. In this study, the viability of human lung epithelial cells, BEAS-2B, was investigated after exposure to this monomer. Exposure to HEMA reduced the viability of the BEAS-2B cells as a result of increased apoptosis, interruption of the cell cycle, and decreased cell proliferation. Depletion of cellular glutathione and increased levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) were seen after exposure of BEAS-2B cells to HEMA. The glutathione synthase inhibitor, L-buthioninesulfoximine (BSO), was used to study whether the reduced viability was caused by glutathione depletion and increased levels of ROS. Similarly to incubation with HEMA, incubation with BSO resulted in glutathione depletion and increased ROS levels, without increasing cell death or inhibiting cell growth. The results indicate that HEMA-induced cell damage is not caused exclusively by these mechanisms. Mechanisms other than glutathione depletion and ROS formation seem to be of importance for the toxic effect of HEMA on lung epithelial cells.


Cell toxicity of 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA): the role of oxidative stress
Morisbak E, Ansteinsson V, Samuelsen JT.
Eur J Oral Sci 2015; 123; 4; 282-287.