Archives of Toxicology

, Volume 89, Issue 7, pp 1083–1094 | Cite as

Size-dependent clearance of gold nanoparticles from lungs of Sprague–Dawley rats after short-term inhalation exposure

  • Sung Gu Han
  • Jong Seong Lee
  • Kangho Ahn
  • Yong Soon Kim
  • Jin Kwon Kim
  • Ji Huyn Lee
  • Jae Hoon Shin
  • Ki Soo Jeon
  • Wan Seob Cho
  • Nam Woong Song
  • Mary Gulumian
  • Beom Soo Shin
  • Il Je Yu
Inorganic Compounds

Abstract

Gold nanoparticles are known to be distributed to many tissues following their oral, inhalation, or intravenous exposure. Information on the biodistribution and clearance of gold nanoparticles from these tissues is, therefore, important to understand their behavior in vivo. To study the effect of size on the biodistribution of gold nanoparticles, Sprague–Dawley rats were exposed by inhalation to small gold nanoparticles (13 nm in diameter on average) at an exposure concentration of 12.8 ± 2.42 µg/m3, and to large gold nanoparticles (105 nm in diameter on average) at an exposure concentration of 13.7 ± 1.32 µg/m3. The experimental animals were exposed to the gold nanoparticles and the control animals to fresh air for 5 days (6 h/day), followed by a recovery period of 1, 3, and 28 days in fresh air. None of the exposed animals exhibited any toxic response to the gold nanoparticles. Despite the difference in size, both small and large gold nanoparticles deposited mainly in rat lungs. Their biodistribution from the lungs to secondary target organs was significantly higher with the small compared to the large gold nanoparticles. While the large gold nanoparticles were only found in the blood, the small gold nanoparticles were detected in the liver, spleen, brain, testes, and blood. In addition, the elimination half-life of the small gold nanoparticles from the lungs was significantly shorter than that of the large gold nanoparticles. The present data may, therefore, suggest that the smaller gold nanoparticles are able to translocate from the lungs, the primary exposure organ to extrapulmonary organs at a faster rate than the larger gold nanoparticles and thus confirming previous observations reported in the literature.

Keywords

Gold nanoparticles Biopersistence Clearance Size difference Tissue distribution 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This research was supported by NanoMaterial Technology Development Program (Green Nano Technology Development Program) (2011-0020504) and Nano R&D Program (2011-0019171) through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.

Supplementary material

204_2014_1292_MOESM1_ESM.docx (14.6 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 14906 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sung Gu Han
    • 1
  • Jong Seong Lee
    • 2
  • Kangho Ahn
    • 3
  • Yong Soon Kim
    • 4
  • Jin Kwon Kim
    • 5
  • Ji Huyn Lee
    • 5
  • Jae Hoon Shin
    • 2
  • Ki Soo Jeon
    • 3
  • Wan Seob Cho
    • 6
  • Nam Woong Song
    • 7
  • Mary Gulumian
    • 8
  • Beom Soo Shin
    • 9
  • Il Je Yu
    • 5
  1. 1.Toxicology Laboratory, College of Animal Bioscience and TechnologyKonkuk UniversitySeoulKorea
  2. 2.Occupational Lung Diseases InstituteKorea Workers’ Compensation Welfare ServiceAnsanKorea
  3. 3.Department of Mechanical EngineeringHanyang UniversityAnsanKorea
  4. 4.Korea Ginseng CorporationDaejeonKorea
  5. 5.Institute of Nanoproduct Safety ResearchHoseo UniversityAsanKorea
  6. 6.Dong-A UniversityBusanKorea
  7. 7.Korea Research Institute of Standards and ScienceDaejeonKorea
  8. 8.Toxicology DepartmentNational Institute for Occupational HealthJohannesburgSouth Africa
  9. 9.College of PharmacyCatholic University of DaeguDaeguSouth Korea

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