Reduced graphene oxide: Nanotoxicological profile in rats

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Abstract

Background: We have previously demonstrated that reduced graphene oxide (rGO) administered intravenously in rats was detected inside the hippocampus after downregulation of the tight and adherens junction proteins of the blood-brain barrier. While down-regulators of junctional proteins could be useful tools for drug delivery through the paracellular pathway, concerns over toxicity must be investigated before clinical application. Herein, our purpose was to trace whether the rGO inside the hippocampus triggered toxic alterations in this brain region and in target organs (blood, liver and kidney) of rats at various time points (15 min, 1, 3 h and 7 days). Results: The assessed rGO-treated rats (7 mg/kg) were clinically indistinguishable from controls at all the time points. Hematological, histopathological (neurons and astrocytes markers), biochemical (nephrotoxicity and hepatotoxicity assessment) and genotoxicological based tests showed that systemic rGO single injection seemed to produce minimal toxicological effects at the time points assessed. Relative to control, the only change was a decrease in the blood urea nitrogen level 3 h post-treatment and increases in superoxide dismutase activity 1 h and 7 days post-treatment. While no alteration in leukocyte parameters was detected between control and rGO-treated animals, time-dependent leukocytosis (rGO-1 h versus rGO-3 h) and leukopenia (rGO-3 h versus rGO-7 days) was observed intra-treated groups. Nevertheless, no inflammatory response was induced in serum and hippocampus at any time. Conclusions: The toxic effects seemed to be peripheral and transitory in the short-term analysis after systemic administration of rGO. The effects were self-limited and non-significant even at 7 days post-rGO administration.

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Mendonça, M. C. P., Soares, E. S., de Jesus, M. B., Ceragioli, H. J., Irazusta, S. P., Batista, Â. G., … Cruz-Höfling, M. A. (2016). Reduced graphene oxide: Nanotoxicological profile in rats. Journal of Nanobiotechnology, 14(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12951-016-0206-9

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