Rutile TiO2 particles exert size and surface coating dependent retention and lesions on the murine brain

Lili Zhang, Ru Bai, Bai Li, Cuicui Ge, Jiangfeng Du, Ying Liu, Laurent Le Guyader, Yuliang Zhao, Yanchuan Wu, Shida He, Yongmei Ma, Chunying Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

70 Scopus citations

Abstract

The rising commercial use and large-scale production of engineered nanoparticles (NPs) may lead to unintended exposure to humans. The central nervous system (CNS) is a potential susceptible target of the inhaled NPs, but so far the amount of studies on this aspect is limited. Here, we focus on the potential neurological lesion in the brain induced by the intranasally instilled titanium dioxide (TiO2) particles in rutile phase and of various sizes and surface coatings. Female mice were intranasally instilled with four different types of TiO2 particles (i.e. two types of hydrophobic particles in micro- and nano-sized without coating and two types of water-soluble hydrophilic nano-sized particles with silica surface coating) every other day for 30 days. Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) were used to determine the titanium contents in the sub-brain regions. Then, the pathological examination of brain tissues and measurements of the monoamine neurotransmitter levels in the sub-brain regions were performed. We found significant up-regulation of Ti contents in the cerebral cortex and striatum after intranasal instillation of hydrophilic TiO2 NPs. Moreover, TiO2 NPs exposure, in particular the hydrophilic NPs, caused obvious morphological changes of neurons in the cerebral cortex and significant disturbance of the monoamine neurotransmitter levels in the sub-brain regions studied. Thus, our results indicate that the surface modification of the NPs plays an important role on their effects on the brain. In addition, the difference in neurotoxicity of the two types of hydrophilic NPs may be induced by the shape differences of the materials. The present results suggest that physicochemical properties like size, shape and surface modification of the nanomaterials should be considered when evaluating their neurological effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-81
Number of pages9
JournalToxicology Letters
Volume207
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 10 2011

Keywords

  • Intranasal instillation
  • Murine brain
  • Nanomaterials
  • Neurotransmitter secretion
  • Shape
  • Surface modification
  • TiO nanoparticles
  • Toxicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology

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