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Cognitive deficits and decreased locomotor activity induced by single-walled carbon nanotubes and neuroprotective effects of ascorbic acid

Authors Liu X, Zhang Y, Li J, Wang D, Wu Y, Li Y, Lu Z, Yu SC, Li R, Yang X

Received 21 October 2013

Accepted for publication 28 November 2013

Published 11 February 2014 Volume 2014:9(1) Pages 823—839

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S56339

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3


Xudong Liu,1,* Yuchao Zhang,1,* Jinquan Li,1 Dong Wang,1 Yang Wu,1 Yan Li,2 Zhisong Lu,3 Samuel CT Yu,4 Rui Li,1 Xu Yang1

1Laboratory of Environmental Biomedicine, Hubei Key Laboratory of Genetic Regulation and Integrative Biology, College of Life Science, Central China Normal University, Wuhan, People's Republic of China; 2Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region; 3Institute for Clean Energy and Advanced Materials, Southwest University, Chongqing, People's Republic of China; 4Division of Environment, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Abstract: Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) have shown increasing promise in the field of biomedicine, especially in applications related to the nervous system. However, there are limited studies available on the neurotoxicity of SWCNTs used in vivo. In this study, neurobehavioral changes caused by SWCNTs in mice and oxidative stress were investigated. The results of ethological analysis (Morris water maze and open-field test), brain histopathological examination, and assessments of oxidative stress (reactive oxygen species [ROS], malondialdehyde [MDA], and glutathione [GSH]), inflammation (nuclear factor κB, tumor necrosis factor a, interleukin-1β), and apoptosis (cysteine-aspartic acid protease 3) in brains showed that 6.25 and 12.50 mg/kg/day SWCNTs in mice could induce cognitive deficits and decreased locomotor activity, brain histopathological alterations, and increased levels of oxidative stress, inflammation, and apoptosis in mouse brains; however, 3.125 mg/kg/day SWCNTs had zero or minor adverse effects in mice, and these effects were blocked by concurrent administration of ascorbic acid. Down-regulation of oxidative stress, inflammation, and apoptosis were proposed to explain the neuroprotective effects of ascorbic acid. This work suggests SWCNTs could induce cognitive deficits and decreased locomotor activity, and provides a strategy to avoid the adverse effects.

Keywords: behavioral changes, oxidative stress, inflammation, apoptosis

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