Open Access Open Badges Nano Express

Acute and chronic nephrotoxicity of platinum nanoparticles in mice

Yoshiaki Yamagishi1, Akihiro Watari1*, Yuya Hayata1, Xiangru Li1, Masuo Kondoh1, Yasuo Yoshioka2, Yasuo Tsutsumi2 and Kiyohito Yagi1

Author affiliations

1 Laboratories of Bio-Functional Molecular Chemistry, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Osaka University, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan

2 Laboratories of Toxicology and Safety Science, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Osaka University, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan

For all author emails, please log on.

Citation and License

Nanoscale Research Letters 2013, 8:395  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-8-395

Published: 23 September 2013


Platinum nanoparticles are being utilized in various industrial applications, including in catalysis, cosmetics, and dietary supplements. Although reducing the size of the nanoparticles improves the physicochemical properties and provides useful performance characteristics, the safety of the material remains a major concern. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the biological effects of platinum particles less than 1 nm in size (snPt1). In mice administered with a single intravenous dose of snPt1, histological analysis revealed necrosis of tubular epithelial cells and urinary casts in the kidney, without obvious toxic effects in the lung, spleen, and heart. These mice exhibited dose-dependent elevation of blood urea nitrogen, an indicator of kidney damage. Direct application of snPt1 to in vitro cultures of renal cells induced significant cytotoxicity. In mice administered for 4 weeks with twice-weekly intraperitoneal snPt1, histological analysis of the kidney revealed urinary casts, tubular atrophy, and inflammatory cell accumulation. Notably, these toxic effects were not observed in mice injected with 8-nm platinum particles, either by single- or multiple-dose administration. Our findings suggest that exposure to platinum particles of less than 1 nm in size may induce nephrotoxicity and disrupt some kidney functions. However, this toxicity may be reduced by increasing the nanoparticle size.

Nanosized materials; Platinum particles; Kidney; Nephrotoxicity; Safety evaluation