Nanoparticles of titanium dioxide found to affect brain development in mice

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Washington, July 29 (ANI): An animal study has shown that maternal exposure to nanoparticles of titanium dioxide (TiO2) can adversely affect genes related to the central nervous system in developing mice.

Lead researcher Ken Takeda, from the Tokyo University of Science in Japan, revealed that the mice whose mothers were injected with the nanoparticles while pregnant showed alteration in gene expression related to neurological dysfunction.

He said: "Nanotechnology and the production of novel man-made nanoparticles are increasing worldwide. Titanium dioxide in its nanoparticle form has a high level of photocatalytic activity, and can be used for air and water purification and self-cleaning surfaces. Our findings, however, add to the current concern that this specific nanomaterial may have the potential to affect human health."

During the study, he and his colleagues injected pregnant mice with Ti02 nanoparticles.

The researchers obtained the brains from male foetuses/pups on the 16th day of gestation, and at several points after birth.

They compared these brains to those of control animals, and found changes in expression of hundreds of genes.

Takeda said: "Diseases associated with these genes include those we normally consider to develop in childhood, such as autistic disorder, epilepsy and learning disorders, and also others that arise mainly in adulthood or old age, such as Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia and Parkinson's disease."

A research article describing the study has been published in the open access journal Particle and Fibre Toxicology. (ANI)

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