Journal of biomedical materials research. Part A

Gold nanoparticles and/or N-acetylcysteine mediate carrageenan-induced inflammation and oxidative stress in a concentration-dependent manner.

PMID 25917538


We report the effect of gold nanoparticles (AuNP) in an acute inflammation model induced by carrageenan (CG) and compared this effect with those induced by the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine (NAC) alone and by the synergistic effect of NAC and AuNP together. Male Wistar rats received saline or saline containing CG administered into the pleural cavity, and some rats also received NAC (20 mg/kg) subcutaneously and/or AuNP administered into the pleural cavity immediately after surgery. Four hours later, the rats were sacrificed and pleural exudates obtained for evaluation of cytokine levels and myeloperoxidase activities. Oxidative stress parameters were also evaluated in the lungs. The results demonstrated that the inflammatory process caused by the administration of CG into the pleural cavity resulted in a substantial increase in the levels of tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-1β, and myeloperoxidase and a reduction in interleukin-10 levels. These levels seem to be reversed after different treatments in animals. Antioxidant enzymes exhibited positive responses after treatment of NAC + AuNP, and all treatments were effective at reducing lipid peroxidation and oxidation of thiol groups induced by CG. These findings suggest that small compounds, such as NAC plus AuNP, may be useful in the treatment of conditions associated with local inflammation.