Identification of potential biomarkers of gold nanoparticle toxicity in rat brains
1 Department of Biochemistry, College of Science, King Saud University, P.O. Box 22452, Riyadh, 11495, Saudi Arabia
2 Physics & Astronomy, College of Science, King Saud University, P.O. Box 2455, Riyadh, 11451, Saudi Arabia
3 Department of Anatomy, National University of Singapore, Singapore, 119260, Singapore
4 Neurobiology and Ageing Research Program, National University of Singapore, Singapore, 119260, Singapore
Journal of Neuroinflammation 2012, 9:123 doi:10.1186/1742-2094-9-123Published: 12 June 2012
Gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) are finding increased use in therapeutics and imaging. However, their toxic effects still remain to be elucidated. Therefore this study was undertaken to study the biochemical effects of AuNPs on rat brain and identify potential biomarkers of AuNP toxicity.
Male Wister rats weighing 150–200 g were injected with 20 μg/kg body weight of 20-nm gold nanoparticles for 3 days through the intraperitoneal route. The rats were killed by carbon dioxide asphyxiation 24 h after the last dose of gold nanoparticle injection. The parameters studied included lipid peroxidation, glutathione peroxidase, 8- hydroxydeoxyguanosine, caspase-3, heat shock protein70, serotonin, dopamine, gamma amino-butyric acid and interferon-γ.
In this study AuNPs caused generation of oxidative stress and a decrease of antioxidant enzyme, viz., glutathione peroxidase activity in rat brain. This was accompanied by an increase in 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine, caspase-3 and heat shock protein70, which might lead to DNA damage and cell death. Gold nanoparticles also caused a significant decrease in the levels of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, indicating a possible change in the behavior of the treated animals. There was a significant increase in the cerebral levels of IFN-γ in treated animals.
This study concludes that AuNPs cause generation of oxidative stress and an impairment of the antioxidant enzyme glutathione peroxidase in rat brain. AuNPs also cause generation of 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8OHdG), caspase-3 and heat shock protein70 (Hsp70), and IFN-γ, which may lead to inflammation and DNA damage/cell death.