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Int J Nanomedicine. 2012;7:4069-76. doi: 10.2147/IJN.S33830. Epub 2012 Jul 27.

Effects of chitosan and water-soluble chitosan micro- and nanoparticles in obese rats fed a high-fat diet.

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Department of Pharmacy, First Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, Nanning, China.



This study determined the effects of chitosan (CTS) and water-soluble chitosan (WSC) microparticles (MPs) and nanoparticles (NPs) in rats with high-fat diet-induced obesity.


THE RATS WERE RANDOMLY SEPARATED INTO EIGHT GROUPS: a normal diet group (the blank control), a high-fat emulsion group (the negative control), CTS and WSC control groups, CTS-MP and WSC-MP groups, and CTS-NP and WSC-NP groups. All groups (except the blank control group) were fed the high-fat diet for 4 weeks to establish the obesity model. Different samples were administered orally once daily to the treatment groups for 4 weeks.


A significantly lower weight gain was observed in the WSC-MP and WSC-NP groups, as well as in the CTS-MP and CTS-NP groups, compared with rats given a normal diet and a high-fat diet (P < 0.05). The WSC-MP rats had the least weight gain among all the groups. The food intake in the eight groups had the same trend as weight gain. CTS and WSC MPs and NPs significantly reduced the final amounts of epididymal and perirenal white adipose tissue. Liver weight was reduced in the CTS-MP group compared to rats fed a high-fat diet. Serum total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol were significantly reduced in all treatment groups, with the WSC-MP and CTS-MP groups showing a more significant reduction than the other groups. Triacylglycerol levels were significantly reduced in the WSC-NP group compared to the high-fat group. The mortality rates of CTS-MP, CTS-NP, WSC-MP, and WSC-NP groups were 30%, 30%, 55%, and 65%, respectively. The median lethal dose for the WSC-MP and WSC-NP groups were 4080 mg/kg and 2370 mg/kg, respectively.


These results indicate that CTS and WSC MPs and NPs have greater effects than commercially available CTS and WSC, and can be used as potential antiobesity agents.


acute toxicity; chitosan; microparticles; nanoparticles; obesity; water-soluble chitosan

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