Comparison of distribution and toxicity following repeated oral dosing of different vanadium oxide nanoparticles in mice

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Abstract

Vanadium is an important ultra-trace element derived from fuel product combustion. With the development of nanotechnology, vanadium oxide nanoparticles (VO NPs) have been considered for application in various fields, thus the possibility of release into the environment and human exposure is also increasing. Considering that verification of bioaccumulation and relevant biological responses are essential for safe application of products, in this study, we aimed to identify the physicochemical properties that determine their health effects by comparing the biological effects and tissue distribution of different types of VO NPs in mice. For this, we prepared five types of VO NPs, commercial (C)-VO2 and -V2O5 NPs and synthetic (S)-VO2, -V2O3, and -V2O5 NPs. While the hydrodynamic diameter of the two types of C-VO NPs was irregular and impossible to measure, those of the three types of S-VO NPs was in the range of 125–170 nm. The S- and C-V2O5 NPs showed higher dissolution rates compared to other VO NPs. We orally dosed the five types of VO NPs (70 and 210 μg/mouse, approximately 2 and 6 mg/kg) to mice for 28 days and compared their biodistribution and toxic effects. We found that S-V2O5 and S-V2O3 NPs more accumulated in tissues compared to other three types of VO NPs, and the accumulated level was in order of heart>liver>kidney>spleen. Additionally, tissue levels of redox reaction-related elements and electrolytes (Na+, K+, and Ca2+) were most clearly altered in the heart of treated mice. Notably, all S- and C-VO NPs decreased the number of WBCs at the higher dose, while total protein and albumin levels were reduced at the higher dose of S-V2O5 and S-V2O3 NPs. Taken together, we conclude that the biodistribution and toxic effects of VO NPs depend on their dissolution rates and size (surface area). Additionally, we suggest that further studies are needed to clarify effects of VO NPs on functions of the heart and the immune system.

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