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Subacute oral toxicity in vivo of multi-walled carbon nanotubes


Multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) are regarded as environmental pollutants with increased risk. Recently MWCNTs have attracted attention as a promising component of packaging materials for food products, as carriers for agricultural plant growth stimu­lants, agrochemicals components and advanced pesticides, which creates the possibility of their exposure through the gastrointestinal tract. Objective of the research is assess­ment of sub-acute oral toxicity to rats of MWCNTs in an experiment lasting 100 days. MWCNTs preparation «Taunit-M®» was preliminary characterized by electron micros­copy and Raman light scattering. Nanomaterial was administered to animals as sonicated dispersion in water with 1% by weight of nonionic surfactant Tween 20. The experiment was performed on 80 growing male Wistar rats with initial body weight (b.w.) 86±2 g. Rats of experimental groups (from 2nd to 5th) received MWCNTs dispersion instead of drinking water, the animals of the 1st control group - a carrier solution (Tween 20). Doses of MWCNTs consumed were, respectively, in groups 1-5: 0; 0.01; 0.1; 1.0 and 10 mg/kg b.w. Hematological and biochemical indices of blood were determined together with the activity of glutathione peroxidase of erythrocytes, the content of non-protein thiols in the liver, excretion of 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-oxo-G) and content of the main and transient components of gastrointestinal microbiocenosis in the cecum contents. Apoptosis of hepatocytes was studied by flow cytometry. As a result MWCNTs led to increase of blood glucose and creatinine in rats in group 2, a significant decrease in the number of neutrophils and monocytes by increasing the number of lymphocytes, decreased platelet volume, the most pronounced also in group 2, receiving the lowest dose of MWCNTs. There were no signs of oxidative DNA damage identified. At the lowest dose MWCNTs caused a significant decrease in the number of bifidobacteria, increase -citrate-assimilating Enterobacteriaceae, hemolytic aerobic microorganisms and yeast. These changes in the microbiota should be considered as adverse, apparently leading to disturbances in the immune function.

Keywords:MWCNTs, rats, oral toxicity, intestinal microbiocenosis

Voprosy pitaniia [Problems of Nutrition]. 2017; 86 (4): 61-9. doi: 61-69.10.24411/0042-8833-2017-00060.

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