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

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

Received 7 April 2013

Accepted for publication 24 May 2013

Published 4 July 2013 Volume 2013:8(1) Pages 2409—2419


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Jie Chen, Hao Wang, Wei Long, Xiu Shen, Di Wu, Sha-Sha Song, Yuan-Ming Sun, Pei-Xun Liu, Saijun Fan, Feiyue Fan, Xiao-Dong Zhang

Tianjin Key Laboratory of Molecular Nuclear Medicine, Institute of Radiation Medicine,Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Tianjin, People's Republic of China

Abstract: Gold nanoparticles have received wide interest in disease diagnosis and therapy, but one of the important issues is their toxicological effects in vivo. Sex differences in the toxicity of gold nanoparticles are not clear. In this work, body weight, organ weight, hematology, and biochemistry were used to evaluate sex differences in immune response and liver and kidney damage. Pathology was used to observe the general toxicity of reproductive organs. The immune response was influenced significantly in female mice, with obvious changes in spleen and thymus index. Hematology results showed that male mice treated with 22.5 nm gold nanoparticles received more significant infection and inflammation than female mice. Meanwhile, the biochemistry results showed that 4.4 and 22.5 nm gold nanoparticles caused more significant liver damage in male mice than female mice, while 22.5, 29.3, and 36.1 nm gold nanoparticles caused more significant kidney damage in female mice than male mice. No significant toxicological response was found in the reproductive system for female or male mice. It was found that gold nanoparticles caused more serious liver toxicity and infection in male mice than female mice. These findings indicated that sex differences may be one of the important elements for in vivo toxicity of gold nanoparticles.

Keywords: sex differences, toxicity, gold nanoparticles

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