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, 17 (1), e1543

In vivo Toxicity Investigation of Magnesium Oxide Nanoparticles in Rat for Environmental and Biomedical Applications


In vivo Toxicity Investigation of Magnesium Oxide Nanoparticles in Rat for Environmental and Biomedical Applications

Nafiseh Mazaheri et al. Iran J Biotechnol.


Background: Magnesium oxide nanoparticles are characterized with a wide variety of applications and are mass-produced throughout the world. However, questions remain regarding their safety. There has been paucity of toxicology research on their side effects, especially under in vivo conditions.

Objectives: The present paper aims at evaluating the toxicity of administering 10-15 nm magnesium oxide nanoparticles to Wistar rat under in vivo conditions. In addition, hematology, biochemistry, and histopathology of the rats are examined at various concentrations (62.5-125-250-500 μg.mL-1) over 28-days period.

Materials and methods: In this study, 35 male Wistar rats were randomly divided into five groups, comprising one control group and four experimental groups, assigned to various doses of MgO nanoparticles by intraperitoneal injection. Eventually, blood samples were collected, and all animals were sacrificed for liver and kidney tissue investigation.

Results: The findings showed that high concentrations of Magnesium oxide nanoparticles (250 and 500 μg.mL-1) significantly increased white blood cells, red blood cells, hemoglobin, and hematocrit compared with the control group (P < 0.05). Moreover, the nanoparticles elevated the levels of aspartate aminotransferase and alkaline phosphatase, whereas no significant difference in levels of alanine aminotransferase, gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase, urea, and creatinine were recorded in comparison with the control group (P < 0.05). Histopathological examinations in the rat's liver showed proliferation of bile ductules, congestion in some regions of the liver sinusoids, and apoptotic cells (probably) in high-dose groups, but no histological changes were found in the kidney functions.

Conclusions: The results from the present study showed that the magnesium oxide nanoparticles in concentrations lower than 250 μg.mL-1 are safe for desired applications.

Keywords: Magnesium Oxide; Toxicity; in vivo.


Figure 1.
Figure 1.
TEM images of the resulting MgO nanoparticles. The images clearly illustrated that the average size of the particles was found to be approximately 10–15 nm and spherical in shape.
Figure 2.
Figure 2.
The XRD pattern of the resulting MgO nanoparticles presented 5 intense peaks in the whole spectrum of 2θ Values ranging from 30 to 80. The diffraction peaks at 2θ values of 36.94 º, 42.90 º, 62.30 º, 74.67 º and 78.61 º, corresponding to 111, 200, 220, 311 and 222 planes, respectively.
Figure 3.
Figure 3.
The biochemical results for rats treated with MgO nanoparticles 28 days after intraperitoneal injection at a different concentrations (62.5–500 μg. mL-1). These results show mean and standard diviations of: (A) aspartate transaminase; (B) alanine transaminase; (C) alkalin phosphatase; (D) γ-glutamyl transpeptidase; (E) urea; (F) creatinine. Abbreviations: AST, aspartate transaminase; ALT, alanine transaminase; ALP, alkaline phosphatase; GGT, γ-glutamyl transpeptidase; UREA, urea; CREA, creatinine
Figure 4.
Figure 4.
Toxicity studies of MgO nanoparticles in rat organs. Histological specimens of rat tissues (liver and kidney) collected from rats euthanized on day 28, stained with hematoxylin and eosin (H and E) showed normal histology, n=7 for each group. A. Control animal liver section showing normal central vein (I), portal triad (II), hepatocytic architecture (III) and liver sinusoids (IIII); B. MgO nanoparticles at a dose of 500 μg.mL-1 treated liver showing proliferation of bile ductules; C. Control liver section showing normal hepatic artery (I), portal vein (II), and bile duct (III); D. MgO nanoparticles at a dose of 500 μg.mL-1 treated liver showing proliferation of bile ductules and apoptotic cell (probably); E. Control liver section showing normal liver sinusoids; F. MgO nanoparticles at a dose of 500 μg.mL-1 treated liver showing Congestion in some regions of the liver sinusoids; G. Control kidney section showing normal corpuscle (I), and tubules structure (II); H. MgO nanoparticles at a dose of 500 μg.mL-1 treated kidney also showed normal structure similar with control group.

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