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Prog Brain Res. 2007;162:245-73.

Nanoparticles aggravate heat stress induced cognitive deficits, blood-brain barrier disruption, edema formation and brain pathology.

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Laboratory of Cerebrovascular Research, Department of Surgical Sciences, Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, University Hospital, Uppsala University, SE-75185 Uppsala, Sweden.


Our knowledge regarding the influence of nanoparticles on brain function in vivo during normal or hyperthermic conditions is still lacking. Few reports indicate that when nanoparticles enter into the central nervous system (CNS) they may induce neurotoxicity. On the other hand, nanoparticle-induced drug delivery to the brain enhances neurorepair processes. Thus, it is likely that the inclusion of nanoparticles in body fluid compartments alters the normal brain function and/or its response to additional stress, e.g., hyperthermia. New data from our laboratory show that nanoparticles derived from metals (e.g., Cu, Ag or Al, approximately 50-60nm) are capable of inducing brain dysfunction in normal animals and aggravating the brain pathology caused by whole-body hyperthermia (WBH). Thus, normal animals treated with nanoparticles (for 1 week) exhibited mild cognitive impairment and cellular alterations in the brain. Subjection of these nanoparticle-treated rats to WBH resulted in profound cognitive and motor deficits, exacerbation of blood-brain barrier (BBB) disruption, edema formation and brain pathology compared with naive animals. These novel observations suggest that nanoparticles enhance brain pathology and cognitive dysfunction in hyperthermia. The possible mechanisms of nanoparticle-induced exacerbation of brain damage in WBH and its functional significance in relation to our current knowledge are discussed in this review.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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