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J Toxicol Environ Health A. 2009;72(11-12):740-5. doi: 10.1080/15287390902841516.

Influence of different sizes of titanium dioxide nanoparticles on hepatic and renal functions in rats with correlation to oxidative stress.

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School of Public Health, Southeast University, Nanjing, People's Republic of China.


As titanium dioxide (TiO(2)) nanoparticles are widely used commercially, the potential effects of TiO(2) nanoparticles on humans are a concern. To evaluate the effects of TiO(2) nanoparticles on hepatic and renal functions and correlate changes to oxidative stress, Sprague-Dawley rats were treated with TiO(2) particles of two different specific surface areas (TiO(2-S50): 50 m(2)/g, and TiO(2-S210): 210 m(2)/g) at 0.5, 5, or 50 mg/kg body weight by intratracheal instillation. After 7 d, TiO(2) nanoparticles produced no obvious acute toxicity on hepatic and renal functions. However, superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity of plasma and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-PX) activity of kidney in the low-dose TiO(2-S210) group were significantly decreased. After TiO(2-S210) exposure, malondialdehyde (MDA) levels of liver and kidney in intermediate and high-dose groups were significantly increased. This change only appeared in liver after TiO(2-S50) exposure. Furthermore, SOD activity in liver and kidney and GSH-PX activity in kidney with low TiO(2-S210) exposure group were significantly less than with low TiO(2-S50). No apparent pathological changes in liver and kidney were observed. Intratracheal exposure to TiO(2) nanoparticles may induce oxidative stress in liver and kidney, but does not influence hepatic or renal functions. There was no apparent evidence that TiO(2-S210) was more toxic than TiO(2-S50). In general, intratracheal exposure to TiO(2) did not markedly affect extrapulmonary tissue functions.

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