Comparative study of genotoxicity and tissue distribution of nano and micron sized iron oxide in rats after acute oral treatment

Shailendra Pratap Singh, M F Rahman, U S N Murty, M Mahboob, Paramjit Grover
Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 2013 January 1, 266 (1): 56-66
Though nanomaterials (NMs) are being utilized worldwide, increasing use of NMs have raised concerns over their safety to human health and environment. Iron oxide (Fe(2)O(3)) NMs have important applications. The aim of this study was to assess the genotoxicity of Fe(2)O(3)-30nm and Fe(2)O(3)-bulk in female Wistar rats. Fe(2)O(3)-30nm was characterized by using transmission electron microscopy, dynamic light scattering, laser Doppler velocimetry and surface area analysis. The rats were treated orally with the single doses of 500, 1000, 2000mg/kg bw of Fe(2)O(3)-30nm and Fe(2)O(3) -bulk. The genotoxicity was evaluated at 6, 24, 48 and 72h by the comet assay in leucocytes, 48 and 72h by micronucleus test (MNT) in peripheral blood cells, 18 and 24h by chromosomal aberration (CA) assay and 24 and 48h by MNT in bone marrow cells. The biodistribution of iron (Fe) was carried out at 6, 24, 48 and 72h after treatment in liver, spleen, kidney, heart, brain, bone marrow, urine and feces by using atomic absorption spectrophotometry. The % tail DNA, frequencies of micronuclei and CAs were statistically insignificant (p>0.05) at all doses. These results suggest that Fe(2)O(3)-30nm and Fe(2)O(3)-bulk was not genotoxic at the doses tested. Bioavailability of Fe was size and dose dependent in all the tissues from the groups exposed to Fe(2)O(3)-30nm. Fe(2)O(3) NMs were able to enter in the organs and the rats are biocompatible with much higher concentration of Fe. However, the accumulated Fe did not cause significant genotoxicity. This study provides additional knowledge about the toxicology of Fe(2)O(3) NMs.

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