Treatment with isolated gold nanoparticles reverses brain damage caused by obesity

Morgana Prá, Gabriela Kozuchovski Ferreira, Aline Haas de Mello, Marcela Fornari Uberti, Nicole Alessandra Engel, Ana Beatriz Costa, Karine Modolon Zepon, Gabriela Guzatti Francisco, Nicole Regina Capacchi Hlavac, Silvia Resende Terra, Michelle Lima Garcez, Rubya Pereira Zaccaron, Carolini Mendes, Ana Cristina Povaluk Tschoeke, Luiz Alberto Kanis, Josiane Budni, Paulo Cesar Lock Silveira, Fabrícia Petronilho, Marcos Marques da Silva Paula, Gislaine Tezza Rezin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


In this study, we performed two experiments. In the first experiment, the objective was to link gold nanoparticles (GNPs) with sodium diclofenac and/or soy lecithin and to determine their concentration in tissues and their toxicity using hepatic and renal analyzes in mice to evaluate their safety as therapeutic agents in the subsequent treatment of obesity. In the second experiment, we evaluated the effect of GNPs on inflammatory and biochemical parameters in obese mice. In the first experiment, we synthesized and characterized 18 nm GNPs that were administered intraperitoneally in isolation or in association with sodium diclofenac and/or soy lecithin in mice once daily for 1 or 14 days. Twenty-four hours after the single or final administration, the animals were euthanized, following which the tissues were removed for evaluating the concentration of GNPs, and serum samples were collected for hepatic and renal analysis. Hepatic damage was evaluated based on the levels of alanine aminotransferase (ALT), whereas renal damage was evaluated based on creatinine levels. A higher concentration of GNPs was detected in the tissues upon administration for 14 days, and there were no signs of hepatic or renal damage. In the second experiment, the mice were used as animal models of obesity and were fed a high-fat diet (obese group) and control diet (control group). After eight weeks of high-fat diet administration, the mice were treated with saline or with GNPs (average size of 18 nm) at a concentration of 70 mg/L (70 mg/kg) once a day, for 14 days, for 10 weeks. Body weight and food intake were measured frequently. After the experiment ended, the animals were euthanized, serum samples were collected for glucose and lipid profile analysis, the mesenteric fat content was weighed, and the brains were removed for inflammatory and biochemical analysis. In obese mice, although GNP administration did not reduce body and mesenteric fat weight, it reduced food intake. The glucose levels were reversed upon administration of GNPs, whereas the lipid profile was not altered in any of the groups. GNPs exerted a beneficial effect on inflammation and oxidative stress parameters, without reverting mitochondrial dysfunction. Our results indicate that the intraperitoneal administration of GNPs for 14 days results in a significant GNP concentration in adipose tissues, which could be an interesting finding for the treatment of inflammation associated with obesity. Based on the efficacy of GNPs in reducing dietary intake, inflammation, and oxidative stress, they can be considered potential alternative agents for the treatment of obesity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number111392
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering C
StatePublished - Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Gold nanoparticles
  • Inflammation
  • Mitochondrial dysfunction
  • Obesity
  • Oxidative stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials


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