The short- and long-term effects of orally administered high-dose reduced graphene oxide nanosheets on mouse behaviors.

PMID 26276695


Reduced graphene oxide (rGO), a carbon-based nanomaterial, has enormous potential in biomedical research, including in vivo cancer therapeutics. Concerns over the toxicity remain outstanding and must be investigated before clinical application. The effect of rGO exposure on animal behaviors, such as learning and memory abilities, has not been clarified. Herein, we explored the short- and long-term effects of orally administered rGO on mouse behaviors, including general locomotor activity level, balance and neuromuscular coordination, exploratory and anxiety behaviors, and learning and memory abilities using open-field, rotarod, and Morris water maze tests. Compared with mice administered buffer-dispersed mouse chow or buffer alone, mice receiving a high dose of small or large rGO nanosheets showed little change in exploratory, anxiety-like, or learning and memory behaviors, although general locomotor activity, balance, and neuromuscular coordination were initially affected, which the mechanisms (e.g. the influence of rGO exposure on the activity of superoxide dismutase in mouse serum) were discussed. The results presented in this work look to provide a deep understanding of the in vivo toxicity of rGO to animals, especially its effect on learning and memory and other behaviors.