Back to Browse Journals » International Journal of Nanomedicine » Volume 6

Size-dependent in vivo toxicity of PEG-coated gold nanoparticles

Authors Zhang XD, Wu D, Shen X, Liu PX, Yang N, Zhao B, Zhang H, Sun YM, Zhang LA, Fan FY

Published Date September 2011 Volume 2011:6 Pages 2071—2081

DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S21657

Published 20 September 2011

Xiao-Dong Zhang, Di Wu, Xiu Shen, Pei-Xun Liu, Na Yang, Bin Zhao, Hao Zhang, Yuan-Ming Sun, Liang-An Zhang, Fei-Yue Fan
Institute of Radiation Medicine, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Tianjin Key Laboratory of Molecular Nuclear Medicine, Tianjin, People’s Republic of China

Background: Gold nanoparticle toxicity research is currently leading towards the in vivo experiment. Most toxicology data show that the surface chemistry and physical dimensions of gold nanoparticles play an important role in toxicity. Here, we present the in vivo toxicity of 5, 10, 30, and 60 nm PEG-coated gold nanoparticles in mice.
Methods: Animal survival, weight, hematology, morphology, organ index, and biochemistry were characterized at a concentration of 4000 µg/kg over 28 days.
Results: The PEG-coated gold particles did not cause an obvious decrease in body weight or appreciable toxicity even after their breakdown in vivo. Biodistribution results show that 5 nm and 10 nm particles accumulated in the liver and that 30 nm particles accumulated in the spleen, while the 60 nm particles did not accumulate to an appreciable extent in either organ. Transmission electron microscopic observations showed that the 5, 10, 30, and 60 nm particles located in the blood and bone marrow cells, and that the 5 and 60 nm particles aggregated preferentially in the blood cells. The increase in spleen index and thymus index shows that the immune system can be affected by these small nanoparticles. The 10 nm gold particles induced an increase in white blood cells, while the 5 nm and 30 nm particles induced a decrease in white blood cells and red blood cells. The biochemistry results show that the 10 nm and 60 nm PEG-coated gold nanoparticles caused a significant increase in alanine transaminase and aspartate transaminase levels, indicating slight damage to the liver.
Conclusion: The toxicity of PEG-coated gold particles is complex, and it cannot be concluded that the smaller particles have greater toxicity. The toxicity of the 10 nm and 60 nm particles was obviously higher than that of the 5 nm and 30 nm particles. The metabolism of these particles and protection of the liver will be more important issues for medical applications of gold-based nanomaterials in future.

Keywords: gold nanoparticles, in vivo, toxicity, size

Download Article [PDF] View Full Text [HTML] 

Creative Commons License This work is published by Dove Medical Press Limited, and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. The full terms of the License are available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. Permissions beyond the scope of the License are administered by Dove Medical Press Limited. Information on how to request permission may be found at: http://www.dovepress.com/permissions.php

Other articles by this author:

Passing through the renal clearance barrier: toward ultrasmall sizes with stable ligands for potential clinical applications

Zhang XD, Yang J, Song SS, Long W, Chen J, Shen X, Wang H, Sun YM, Liu PX, Fan S

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2014, 9:2069-2072

Published Date: 25 April 2014

Sex differences in the toxicity of polyethylene glycol-coated gold nanoparticles in mice

Chen J, Wang H, Long W, Shen X, Wu D, Song SS, Sun YM, Liu PX, Fan S, Fan F, Zhang XD

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2013, 8:2409-2419

Published Date: 4 July 2013

Toxicologic effects of gold nanoparticles in vivo by different administration routes

Xiao-Dong Zhang, Hong-Ying Wu, Di Wu, et al

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2010, 5:771-781

Published Date: 28 September 2010

Irradiation stability and cytotoxicity of gold nanoparticles for radiotherapy

Xiao-Dong Zhang, Mei-Li Guo, Hong-Ying Wu, et al

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2009, 4:165-173

Published Date: 3 September 2009

Readers of this article also read:

Sex differences in the toxicity of polyethylene glycol-coated gold nanoparticles in mice

Chen J, Wang H, Long W, Shen X, Wu D, Song SS, Sun YM, Liu PX, Fan S, Fan F, Zhang XD

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2013, 8:2409-2419

Published Date: 4 July 2013

Concepts and practices used to develop functional PLGA-based nanoparticulate systems

Sah H, Thoma LA, Desu HR, Sah E, Wood GC

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2013, 8:747-765

Published Date: 21 February 2013

Polyethylene glycol versus dual sugar assay for gastrointestinal permeability analysis: is it time to choose?

van Wijck K, Bessems BAFM, van Eijk HM, Buurman WA, Dejong CH, Lenaerts K

Clinical and Experimental Gastroenterology 2012, 5:139-150

Published Date: 19 July 2012

Concentration-dependent effects of fullerenol on cultured hippocampal neuron viability

Zha YY, Yang B, Tang ML, Guo QC, Chen JT, Wen LP, Wang M

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2012, 7:3099-3109

Published Date: 29 June 2012

Toxicologic effects of gold nanoparticles in vivo by different administration routes

Xiao-Dong Zhang, Hong-Ying Wu, Di Wu, et al

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2010, 5:771-781

Published Date: 28 September 2010

Irradiation stability and cytotoxicity of gold nanoparticles for radiotherapy

Xiao-Dong Zhang, Mei-Li Guo, Hong-Ying Wu, et al

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2009, 4:165-173

Published Date: 3 September 2009

Role of aliskiren in cardio-renal protection and use in hypertensives with multiple risk factors

Eduardo Pimenta, Suzanne Oparil

Vascular Health and Risk Management 2009, 5:453-463

Published Date: 19 May 2009

Applications of gold nanoparticles in cancer nanotechnology

Weibo Cai, Ting Gao, Hao Hong, Jiangtao Sun

Nanotechnology, Science and Applications 2008, 1:17-32

Published Date: 19 September 2008