Effects of zinc oxide nanoparticles and/or zinc chloride on biochemical parameters and mineral levels in rat liver and kidney

S Amara, I Ben Slama, I Mrad, N Rihane, W Khemissi, L El Mir, K Ben Rhouma, H Abdelmelek, M Sakly
Human & Experimental Toxicology 2014, 33 (11): 1150-7
The aim of this study was to assess the potential subacute toxicity of zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles (NPs) in Wistar rats in comparison with reference toxicant, zinc chloride (ZnCl2), of a non-nanoparticulate form. We therefore studied the relationships between zinc (Zn) accumulation, liver and kidney trace element levels, and plasmatic biochemical parameters. Rats in all groups were treated by intraperitoneal injection of ZnO NPs and/or ZnCl2 solution (25 mg/kg) every other day for 10 days. The contents of trace element in the liver and kidney were slightly modulated after ZnO NPs and/or ZnCl2 solution exposure. The same treatment increased the aspartate aminotransferase activity and uric acid concentration. However, ZnO NPs or ZnCl2 solution decreased the creatinine levels, whereas the combined intake of ZnO NPs and ZnCl2 decreased the glucose concentration. Interestingly, the analysis of the lyophilized powder of liver using the x-ray diffractometer showed the degradation of ZnO NPs in ZnO-treated group, instead there is a lack of NPs ZnO biosynthesis from the ZnCl2 solution injected in rats. These investigations suggest that combined injection of ZnO NPs and ZnCl2 solution has a possible toxic effect in rats. This effect could be related to Zn(2+) ion release and accumulation of this element in organs. Our findings provide crucial information that ZnO appeared to be absorbed in the organs in an ionic form rather than in a particulate form.

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