Evaluation of the Potential Neurotoxicity of Gold Nanoparticles in the Different Rat Brain Regions

Neveen A. Noor, Heba M. Fahmy, Iman M Mourad


The present study aims to investigate the potential adverse effects of gold nanoparticles (Au NPs) in the cortex, hippocampus, striatum, midbrain, cerebellum and medulla of adult male Wistar rat through the estimation of some oxidative stress parameters and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity. Rats were divided into two main experimental groups. Animals of the 1st and 2nd groups were intraperitoneally injected with a single dose (100 g/kg body wt) of ? 20 nm Au NPs and decapitated after 24 hours and two weeks of injection, respectively. Control animals were injected with saline solution and sacrificed simultaneously with the treated groups. The present data revealed that Au NPs induced several significant changes in the levels of GSH and NO and GST activities in the brain areas investigated. These changes were more prominent after 24 hours than after two weeks of injection and varied according to the brain region examined. However, these alterations did not induce lipid peroxidation except for the cerebellum and medulla after 24 hours only. In addition, Au NPs induced significant decreases in cortical and hippocampal AChE activities after 24 hours.

However, significant increases in cortical and cerebellar AChE activities were recorded after two weeks. In conclusion, although most of the early biochemical changes induced by Au NPs injection were ameliorated after two weeks, careful must be taken into consideration in utilization of gold nanoparticles in biological applications especially with the particle size that can penetrate the BBB.


nanoparticles; oxidative stress; AChE; brain; rat.

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