Titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO2NPs) have been widely used in numerous applications and enter the human body through different routes. This study aimed to investigate the effect of intraperitoneal TiO2NPs on the histological and biochemical structure of rat pancreas. Fifty adult male albino rats were divided into four groups. Group I (control) was equally divided into two subgroups. Groups II, III, and IV: rats received intraperitoneal TiO2NPs for 7, 14, and 45 days, respectively. Blood samples were taken for the estimation of blood glucose, serum insulin, serum α-amylase, and lipase activity levels. Sections of the pancreas were processed for light, electron microscope examination, and immunohistochemical detection of insulin protein. Other parts were exposed to Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction for Bax, Bcl-2, SOD, and GST mRNA gene expression. Results showed pancreatic tissue damage, including acinar and islet cells, which became worse with increased duration of exposure to TiO2NPs. Decreased immune expression of the insulin protein together with decreased serum insulin and increased blood glucose levels indicated the alteration of β cells. Decreased serum α-amylase and lipase activities indicated alteration of acinar cells. Increased Bax and decreased Bcl-2 mRNA expression levels showed the apoptotic effect of TiO2NPs caused by oxidative stress and evidenced by a significant reduction in the mRNA expression of SOD and GST in a duration-dependent manner. In conclusion: the present study stated that TiO2NPs exposure for long durations had toxic effects on both exocrine and endocrine pancreas mediated by apoptotic and oxidative stress pathways.
Keywords: Titanium dioxide nanoparticles; biochemistry; histology; rat pancreas.