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Molecules 2016, 21(6), 763;

Bioaccumulation and Subchronic Toxicity of 14 nm Gold Nanoparticles in Rats

DST/NWU Preclinical Drug Development Platform, Faculty of Health Sciences, North-West University, Potchefstroom 2531, South Africa
Necsa, South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (SOC) Ltd., Pelindaba 2025, South Africa
Present Address: Division of Pharmaceutics, Faculty of Pharmacy, Rhodes University, Grahamstown 6139, South Africa
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Kadir Aslan
Received: 12 May 2016 / Revised: 2 June 2016 / Accepted: 6 June 2016 / Published: 10 June 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gold Nanoparticles for Biomedical Applications)
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Colloidal suspensions of 14 nm gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) were repeatedly administered intravenously at three dose levels (0.9, 9 and 90 µg) to male Sprague Dawley rats weekly for 7 weeks, followed by a 14-day washout period. After sacrificing, the amount of gold was quantified in the liver, lungs, spleen, skeleton and carcass using neutron activation analysis (NAA). During the study, pre- and post (24 h) administration blood samples were collected from both the test and control groups, the latter which received an equal injection volume of normal saline. General health indicators were monitored together with markers of kidney and liver damage for acute and subchronic toxicity assessment. Histopathological assessments were done on the heart, kidneys, liver, lungs and spleen to assess any morphological changes as a result of the exposure to AuNPs. The mass measurements of all the groups showed a steady increase with no signs of overt toxicity. The liver had the highest amount of gold (µg) per gram of tissue after 56 days followed by the spleen, lungs, skeleton and carcass. Markers of kidney and liver damage showed similar trends between the pre and post samples within each group and across groups. The histopathological examination also showed no hepatotoxicity and nephrotoxicity. There was accumulation of Au in tissues after repeated dosing, albeit with no observable overt toxicity, kidney or liver damage. View Full-Text
Keywords: gold nanoparticles; bioaccumulation; liver and kidney damage; Sprague Dawley rats gold nanoparticles; bioaccumulation; liver and kidney damage; Sprague Dawley rats

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Rambanapasi, C.; Zeevaart, J.R.; Buntting, H.; Bester, C.; Kotze, D.; Hayeshi, R.; Grobler, A. Bioaccumulation and Subchronic Toxicity of 14 nm Gold Nanoparticles in Rats. Molecules 2016, 21, 763.

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