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Nano Research

Article Title

Gold nanoparticles cause size-dependent inhibition of embryonic development during murine pregnancy

Authors

Xiaowei Ma, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) Center for Excellence in Nanoscience, CAS Key Laboratory for Biomedical Effects of Nanomaterials and Nanosafety, National Center for Nanoscience and Technology of China, No. 11, First North Road, Zhongguancun, Beijing 100190, China University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
Xiaolong Yang, College of Biotechnology, Tianjin University of Science & Technology, Tianjin 300457, China
Yufei Wang, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) Center for Excellence in Nanoscience, CAS Key Laboratory for Biomedical Effects of Nanomaterials and Nanosafety, National Center for Nanoscience and Technology of China, No. 11, First North Road, Zhongguancun, Beijing 100190, China University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
Juan Liu, Tissue Engineering Lab, Beijing Institute of Transfusion Medicine, Beijing 100850, China
Shubin Jin, Beijing Municipal Institute of Labour Protection, No. 55 Taoranting Road, Xicheng District, Beijing 100054, China
Shuyi Li, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) Center for Excellence in Nanoscience, CAS Key Laboratory for Biomedical Effects of Nanomaterials and Nanosafety, National Center for Nanoscience and Technology of China, No. 11, First North Road, Zhongguancun, Beijing 100190, China University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
Xing-Jie Liang, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) Center for Excellence in Nanoscience, CAS Key Laboratory for Biomedical Effects of Nanomaterials and Nanosafety, National Center for Nanoscience and Technology of China, No. 11, First North Road, Zhongguancun, Beijing 100190, China University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China

Keywords

gold nanoparticles, embryonic development, fetal resorption, differentiation

Abstract

ABSTRACT Gold nanoparticles (Au NPs) have been widely utilized in biomedical applications owing to their attractive features and biocompatibility, which greatly increase the risk of humans’ being exposed to Au NPs, including pregnant women. In contrast to mature cells, embryos are more susceptible to outside disruptive stimuli. Nonetheless, a possible inhibitory effect of nanomaterials on embryonic development is usually ignored as long as the NPs do not have significant cytotoxic effects. According to our results, a minimal “nontoxic” concentration of Au NPs during early pregnancy can have lethal inhibitory effects on embryos in vivo and in vitro. We conducted important experiments on the influence of Au NPs on embryonic development and found that Au NPs can disturb embryonic development in a size- and concentration-dependent manner. Au NPs of 15 nm in diameter downregulated the expression pattern of distinct germ layer markers both at mRNA and protein levels; this action prevented differentiation of all three embryonic germ layers. Consequently, fetal resorption was observed. Our work reveals the impact of Au NPs on embryonic development and will provide an important guidance and serve as a reference for biomedical applications of Au NPs with minimal side effects.

Graphical Abstract

Publisher

Tsinghua University Press

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