NSTI Nanotech 2009

Gold nanoparticles caused learning impairment in mice

Y.-S. Chen, Y.-C. Hung, I. Liau, L.-W. Lin, M.-Y. Hong, G.S. Huang
National Chiao Tung University, TW

Keywords: gold nanoparticles, nanotoxicity, hippocampus, mice, learning impairment

Abstract:

Aims : To investigate the toxic effect of gold nanoparticles (GNP) to the learning and memory of mice. Key findings: Both 17 nm and 37 nm GNPs induced severe sickness in mice. However, only 17 nm GNP impaired the learning and memory of mice. GNP treatment elevated levels of dopamine from 114.5 ng/mouse brain to 143.6 ng/mouse brain for 17 nm (p<0.01) and to 138.2 for 37 nm GNP (p<0.05). Serotinin was significantly reduced by 17 nm GNP treatment from 57.2 ng/mouse brain to 44.3 ng/mouse brain (p<0.05). ICP-MS indicated the presence of GNPs in every part of the brain. CARS microscopy showed that 17 nm GNP was located at the Cornu Amonis regions of hippocampus where neuronal cells clustered, while 37 nm GNP was excluded from the cell clustered region. TEM and EDAX verified the presence of 17 nm GNP in the cytoplasm and in the dendrite of pyramidal cell, while 37 nm GNP was found in the extracellular region of neuronal cells. TEM image also indicated that both endocytosis and free diffusion coexisted for the invasion of 17 nm GNP. Significance: The current study provided evidence that nanoparticles were capable of entering into brain and affecting normal brain function. The size-dependent invading ability of GNPs provides an extra dimension for drug delivery.
 
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