Ocular toxicity of reduced graphene oxide or graphene oxide exposure in mouse eyes

Exp Eye Res. 2018 Sep;174:59-69. doi: 10.1016/j.exer.2018.05.024. Epub 2018 May 24.


With the wide application and mass production of nanoparticle products, environmental nanopollutants will become increasingly common. The eye is an important organ responsible for vision in most living organisms, and it is directly exposed to the atmosphere. Direct contact between the eye and nanoparticles in the environment can potentially lead to ocular damage. However, publications focusing on the eye-damaging potential of nanoparticles are scarce. Therefore, to evaluate the impact of nanoparticles on the eyes, we investigated the ocular toxicity of reduced graphene oxide (RGO) and graphene oxide (GO) using morphological and molecular biological methods in vivo and in vitro in the present work. The findings show that short-term repeated GO exposure can cause obvious intraocular inflammation, an incrassated corneal stromal layer, cell apoptosis in the cornea, iris neovascularization and significant cytotoxicity of rat corneal epithelial cells (rCECs), while RGO causes no significant ocular toxicity in mice.

Keywords: Graphene oxide; In vitro; In vivo; Ocular toxicity; Reduced graphene oxide.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cornea / cytology
  • Epithelial Cells / drug effects
  • Eye / drug effects*
  • Eye / metabolism
  • Eye / pathology
  • Graphite / toxicity*
  • Iris / pathology
  • Mice
  • Nanoparticles / toxicity
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / chemically induced
  • Oxides / toxicity*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Antioxidants
  • Oxides
  • Graphite