During the last few decades, owing to their unique properties, gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) have found numerous biomedical applications. Studies on rodents prove that AuNPs entering an organism easily reach the bloodstream and undergo wide tissue distribution. The presence of nanoparticles inside blood and bone marrow cells of exposed animals may implicate its influence on hematopoesis and the functions of peripheral blood leukocytes.
The aim of this study was to determine the effect of oral administration of commercial gold nanocolloid, recommended by the producer as a dietary supplement, on the percentage of lymphocyte populations and proliferative response, as well as the activity of phagocytes in the peripheral blood of mice. The colloid was given to the animals in three different doses (0.25, 2.5, 25 ppm), for three different time periods (7, 14, 28 days). Mice given nanoparticles showed increased activity of phagocytes and some changes in the lymphocyte phenotypes. The elevated activity of granulocytes and monocytes, in terms of both phagocytic and respiratory burst activity, was transient and noticed only after a short time of administration, which may indicate some adaptability of blood phagocytes to prolonged presence of gold nanoparticles in the body. However, phenotypic modifications among lymphocytes in the group of animals given the middle dose of colloid (i.e. increased percentage of B and CD4+CD8+ DP T cells) did not occur until after the 28-day administration, which in turn seems indicative of some immune dysregulation due to the prolonged contact with nanogold.
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