The main difference between toxicity and cytotoxicity is that toxicity is the degree to which a chemical substance can damage an organism, whereas cytotoxicity is the quality of being toxic to the cell.
Toxicity and cytotoxicity are two processes of being toxic to organisms.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is Toxicity
– Definition, Facts, Types
2. What is Cytotoxicity
– Definition, Facts, Types
3. Similarities Between Toxicity and Cytotoxicity
– Outline of Common Features
4. Difference Between Toxicity and Cytotoxicity
– Comparison of Key Differences
What is Toxicity
Toxicity is a property of a particular substance to become harmful to an organism. It can occur in two ways. It can affect organisms like animals, plants, or microorganisms. Also, it can affect a substructure of an organism, such as a cell (cytotoxicity) or liver (hepatotoxicity). Sometimes, it can refer to poisoning too. Toxicity can also occur in a large group of organisms like a family. Another feature of toxicity is that it is dose-dependent. Substances like snake venom are highly toxic substances. Besides, some toxins can be species-dependent.
Furthermore, five types of toxicities can occur. They are chemical, biological, physical, radioactive, and behavioral toxicity. Different types of chemical substances can be toxic to organisms. They can be either poisonous or can cause health effects. For example, daily-used products such as household cleaners, gasoline, prescription and over-the-counter drugs, pesticides, alcohol, fuel oil, and cosmetics can be toxic. Also, there are two types of biological toxins: living organisms and their substances. Living organisms can be parasites and viruses that can be toxic to plants and animals. For example, cholera toxin and venoms are biological substances that are toxic to other living organisms.
Moreover, physical substances like coal dust, finely divided silicon dioxide, asbestos fibers, etc., are toxic to living organisms. Radiation is another type of toxin. Behavioral toxicity can occur due to the use of medication. Anticholinergic effects, dopaminergic effects, and alpha-adrenergic blockade are examples of behavioral toxicity.
What is Cytotoxicity
Cytotoxicity is the toxicity to cells. Venoms, immune cells, spike proteins, and some spiders can be cytotoxic. They can result in different cell fates, including necrosis, apoptosis, cell lysis, or decreased cell viability. Cells lose membrane integrity and die as a result of cell lysis. Necrosis is also a cytotoxicity effect that can undergo autolysis, resulting in premature cell death. Additionally, cells may decrease cell viability due to cytotoxicity, stopping active growth and cell division. Furthermore, cells can activate programmed cell death or apoptosis due to cytotoxicity.
Furthermore, cells exhibit rapid swelling, shutting down metabolism, losing membrane integrity, and releasing their content into the environment in necrosis. However, they undergo changes in refractive index, nuclear condensation, the cleavage of DNA into small fragments, and cytoplasmic shrinkage in apoptosis.
Similarities Between Toxicity and Cytotoxicity
- Toxicity and cytotoxicity are two processes of being toxic to organisms.
Difference Between Toxicity and Cytotoxicity
Toxicity refers to the degree to which a chemical substance or a particular mixture of substances can damage an organism. At the same time, cytotoxicity refers to the quality of being toxic to cells.
The degree to which a chemical substance can damage an organism is toxicity, while cytotoxicity is the quality of being toxic to the cell.
Chemical, biological, physical, radioactive, and behavioral toxicity are the types of toxicity, while necrosis, cell lysis, decreased cell viability, or apoptosis are the effects of cytotoxicity.
In brief, toxicity and cytotoxicity are two types of toxicities that can occur in living organisms. Toxicity is the degree of a substance that can damage a living organism. Different toxicities can occur, including chemical, biological, physical, radioactive, and behavioral. In comparison, cytotoxicity is the quality of being toxic to cells. The cytotoxicity effects include necrosis, cell lysis, decreased cell viability, or apoptosis. Therefore, the main difference between toxicity and cytotoxicity is the type of effect on the organism.
- Toxic chemicals – toxic-free future. Toxic. (2023, February 13).