3,2-Hydroxypyridinone-Grafted Chitosan Oligosaccharide Nanoparticles as Efficient Decorporation Agents for Simultaneous Removal of Uranium and Radiation-Induced Reactive Oxygen Species in Vivo

Bioconjug Chem. 2018 Nov 21;29(11):3896-3905. doi: 10.1021/acs.bioconjchem.8b00711. Epub 2018 Nov 9.


Most of the key radionuclides in the nuclear fuel cycle, such as actinides, possess a combination of heavy metal chemotoxicity and radiotoxicity and therefore represent a severe threat to the ecological environment and public safety. The radiotoxicity originates from direct radiation-induced organ damage and indirect damage, mostly through radiation-induced reactive oxygen species (ROS). Although effective chelating agents that can accelerate the excretion of actinides, such as uranium, have been developed in the past several decades, very few of them can reduce radiation-induced damage from internal contamination. In fact, the strategy of simultaneous removal of actinides and their induced-ROS in vivo has scarcely been considered. Here, we report a 3,2-hydroxypyridinone-grafted chitosan oligosaccharide nanoparticle (COS-HOPO) as a new type of decorporation agent that is effective for the removal of both uranium and ROS in vivo. The cytotoxicity and decorporation assays indicate that the marriage of chitosan oligosaccharide (COS) and hydroxypyridinone (HOPO) gives rise to a remarkable decrease in toxicity and promotion of the uranium removal capability from both kidneys and femurs. The decorporation efficacy can reach up to 43% in rat proximal tubular epithelial cells (NRK-52E), 44% in kidneys, and 32% in femurs. Moreover, the ROS levels of the cells treated with COS-HOPO are significantly lower than those of the control group, implying a promising radiation protection effect. The detoxification mechanism of COS-HOPO is closely related to both chelating U(VI)- and scavenging U(VI)-induced intracellular ROS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Chitosan / chemistry
  • Chitosan / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Kidney / drug effects
  • Mice
  • Nanoparticles / chemistry
  • Oligosaccharides / chemistry
  • Oligosaccharides / pharmacology*
  • Pyridones / chemistry
  • Pyridones / pharmacology*
  • Radiation-Protective Agents / chemistry
  • Radiation-Protective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / isolation & purification*
  • Uranium / isolation & purification*


  • 1,2-hydroxypyridinone
  • Oligosaccharides
  • Pyridones
  • Radiation-Protective Agents
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Uranium
  • Chitosan