Background: Glycol chitosan nanoparticles (CNPs) have emerged as an effective drug delivery system for cancer diagnosis and treatment. Although they have great biocompatibility owing to biodegradable chemical structure and low immunogenicity, sufficient information on in vivo toxicity to understand the potential risks depending on the repeated high-dose have not been adequately studied. Herein, we report the results of in vivo toxicity evaluation for CNPs focused on the number and dose of administration in healthy mice to provide a toxicological guideline for a better clinical application of CNPs. Results: The CNPs were prepared by conjugating hydrophilic glycol chitosan with hydrophobic 5β-cholanic acid and the amphiphilic glycol chitosan-5β-cholanic acid formed self-assembled nanoparticles with its concentration-dependent homogeneous size distributions (265.36–288.3 nm) in aqueous condition. In cell cultured system, they showed significantly high cellular uptake in breast cancer cells (4T1) and cardiomyocytes (H9C2) than in fibroblasts (L929) and macrophages (Raw264.7) in a dose- and time-dependent manners, resulting in severe necrotic cell death in H9C2 at a clinically relevant highly concentrated condition. In particular, when the high-dose (90 mg/kg) of CNPs were intravenously injected into the healthy mice, considerable amount was non-specifically accumulated in major organs (liver, lung, spleen, kidney and heart) after 6 h of injection and sustainably retained for 72 h. Finally, repeated high-dose of CNPs (90 mg/kg, three times) induced severe cardiotoxicity accompanying inflammatory responses, tissue damages, fibrotic changes and organ dysfunction. Conclusions: This study demonstrates that repeated high-dose CNPs induce severe cardiotoxicity in vivo. Through the series of toxicological assessments in the healthy mice, this study provides a toxicological guideline that may expedite the application of CNPs in the clinical settings.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (NRF-2022M3H4A1Ă7401).
© 2023, The Author(s).
- Glycol chitosan nanoparticles
- Toxicity evaluation