Parallel Comparative Studies on Mouse Toxicity of Oxide Nanoparticle- and Gadolinium-Based T1 MRI Contrast Agents

Rui Chen, Daishun Ling, Lin Zhao, Shuaifei Wang, Ying Liu, Ru Bai, Seungmin Baik, Yuliang Zhao, Chunying Chen, Taeghwan Hyeon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

135 Scopus citations


Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agents with high relaxivity are highly desirable because they can significantly increase the accuracy of diagnosis. However, they can be potentially toxic to the patients. In this study, using a mouse model, we investigate the toxic effects and subsequent tissue damage induced by three T1 MRI contrast agents: gadopentetate dimeglumine injection (GDI), a clinically used gadolinium (Gd)-based contrast agent (GBCAs), and oxide nanoparticle (NP)-based contrast agents, extremely small-sized iron oxide NPs (ESIONs) and manganese oxide (MnO) NPs. Biodistribution, hematological and histopathological changes, inflammation, and the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress responses are evaluated for 24 h after intravenous injection. These thorough assessments of the toxic and stress responses of these agents provide a panoramic description of safety concerns and underlying mechanisms of the toxicity of contrast agents in the body. We demonstrate that ESIONs exhibit fewer adverse effects than the MnO NPs and the clinically used GDI GBCAs, providing useful information on future applications of ESIONs as potentially safe MRI contrast agents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12425-12435
Number of pages11
JournalACS Nano
Issue number12
StatePublished - Nov 15 2015


  • biodistribution
  • contrast agent
  • endoplasmic reticulum stress
  • iron oxide nanoparticles
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • toxicity evaluation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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