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Nanomaterials 2016, 6(11), 208;

Oral Toxicity and Intestinal Transport Mechanism of Colloidal Gold Nanoparticle-Treated Red Ginseng

Division of Applied Food System, Major of Food Science and Technology, Seoul Women’s University, Seoul 01797, Korea
SMNANOBIO Co., Ltd., Daejeon 34028, Korea
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Graham Bonwick and Catherine S. Birch
Received: 4 September 2016 / Revised: 29 October 2016 / Accepted: 3 November 2016 / Published: 11 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials in Food Safety)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1286 KB, uploaded 11 November 2016]   |  


(1) Background: Application of nanotechnology or nanomaterials in agricultural food crops has attracted increasing attention with regard to improving crop production, quality, and nutrient utilization. Gold nanoparticles (Au-NPs) have been reported to enhance seed yield, germination rate, and anti-oxidant potential in food crops, raising concerns about their toxicity potential. In this study, we evaluated the oral toxicity of red ginseng exposed to colloidal Au-NPs during cultivation (G-red ginseng) in rats and their intestinal transport mechanism. (2) Methods: 14-day repeated oral administration of G-red ginseng extract to rats was performed, and body weight, hematological, serum biochemical, and histopathological values were analyzed. An in vitro model of human intestinal follicle-associated epithelium (FAE) and an intestinal epithelial monolayer system were used for intestinal transport mechanistic study. (3) Results: No remarkable oral toxicity of G-red ginseng extract in rats was found, and Au-NPs did not accumulate in any organ, although Au-NP transfer to G-red ginseng and some increased saponin levels were confirmed. Au-NPs were transcytozed by microfold (M) cells, but not by a paracellular pathway in the intestinal epithelium. (4) Conclusion: These findings suggest great potential of Au-NPs for agricultural food crops at safe levels. Further study is required to elucidate the functional effects of Au-NPs on ginseng and long-term toxicity. View Full-Text
Keywords: gold nanoparticle; red ginseng; oral toxicity; transport mechanism gold nanoparticle; red ginseng; oral toxicity; transport mechanism

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Bae, S.-H.; Yu, J.; Go, M.-R.; Kim, H.-J.; Hwang, Y.-G.; Choi, S.-J. Oral Toxicity and Intestinal Transport Mechanism of Colloidal Gold Nanoparticle-Treated Red Ginseng. Nanomaterials 2016, 6, 208.

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