Issue 1, 2016

Evaluation of potential acute cardiotoxicity of biodegradable nanocapsules in rats by intravenous administration


Nanotoxicology aims to study the safety of nanomaterials, especially towards human exposure. Biodegradable polymeric nanocapsules have been indicated as potential drug carriers applicable for treating several pathologies. Thus, the objective of this study was to evaluate the potential cardiotoxicity of biodegradable lipid-core nanocapsules (LNC) containing poly(ε-caprolactone). Nanocapsules were characterized and the acute toxicity evaluation was conducted in Wistar rats. Two control groups (saline and tween/glycerol) were utilized, and three treated groups were chosen for low, intermediate and high doses: 28.7 × 1012 (LNC-1), 57.5 × 1012 (LNC-2) and 115 × 1012 (LNC-3), expressed as number of nanocapsules per milliliter per kg. Blood pressure measurements were performed in non-anesthetized animals by caudal plethysmography. The electrocardiographic (ECG) and echocardiographic analyses were carried out after anesthesia by isoflurane at two points, prior to treatment and after 14 days. Blood was collected 24 hours and 14 days after treatment. Biochemical and histopathological analyses were performed. During the evaluation period, no deaths, weight loss or clinical signs were observed. Post-treatment systolic pressures (24 h and 14 days) were significantly increased in comparison to pre-treatment in both control groups and treated groups, which is suggested to be as a possible consequence of the infused volume. Serum sodium, potassium, aspartate aminotransferase and alkaline phosphatase, as well as, hematological parameters were within reference values established for rats. ECG showed no indications of cardiotoxicity. Despite the echocardiograms, no alterations in the ejection fraction were found as indicators of cardiotoxicity. Cardiac histopathology also demonstrated no alterations. Therefore, the present results on acute evaluation after i.v. administration, by slow infusion, showed potential safety since no cardiotoxic effects by ECG, echocardiographic, arterial pressure, biochemical and histopathological analyses were found.

Graphical abstract: Evaluation of potential acute cardiotoxicity of biodegradable nanocapsules in rats by intravenous administration

Article information

Article type
25 Jun 2015
01 Oct 2015
First published
05 Oct 2015

Toxicol. Res., 2016,5, 168-179

Author version available