Vol 59, No 2 (2021)
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Published online: 2021-04-20

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Does repeated gold-nanoparticles administration affect pars distalis hormonal and folliculo-stellate cells in adult male albino rats?

Abeer Ibraheem Omar1, Samaa Samir Kamar12
Pubmed: 33876830
Folia Histochem Cytobiol 2021;59(2):95-107.


Introduction. Worldwide, nanoparticles especially gold-nanoparticles (Au-NPs) are widely used in medicine, cancer treatment and cosmetic industry. They are easily conjugated with different biomedical and biological agents and effortlessly absorbed with few side effects. The pars distalis of the pituitary gland is considered as the maestro of the endocrine peripheral glands since it secrets trophic hormones that controls their functions. 5–10% of the non-granular pars distalis cells are folliculo-stellate cells (FSCs) that support the granular cells’ functions. The aim of the study was to explore the histological and the biochemical effects of repeated exposure to Au-NPs on the pars distalis in adult male albino rats with highlighting the impact on FSCs.

Material and methods. Thirty-six adult male albino rats were divided equally into control group and Au-NPs group (received 40 μg/kg/day of 11 ± 2 nm spherical Au-NPs orally for 2 weeks). Then, rats were euthanized and deposition of Au-NPs in pars distalis was investigated. Biochemical investigations and histological studies including hematoxylin and eosin staining, periodic acid Schiff’s reaction, immunohistochemistry (IHC) for S-100, connexin 43 (Cx43) and Cytochrome-C (Cyt-C) as well as electron-microscopic and morphometric studies were carried out.

Results. The Au-NPs group demonstrated structural disorganization in the pars distalis, inflammation, congestion and increased extracellular PAS-positive colloid deposition due to the accumulation of Au-NPs. A significant increase in the immunoreactivity of S-100, Cx43 and Cyt-c, along with a significant increase in TNF-a, MDA, and bFGF content in the pituitary homogenates, was noted as compared to the control group. Ultrastructurally, degenerative changes were observed in the secretory cells. FSCs showed proliferation and increased phagocytic activity.

Conclusions. Repetitive exposure of adult male albino rats to Au-NPs prompted the accumulation of these nanoparticles in the pars distalis that was accompanied by cellular degeneration and dysfunction of the secretory cell and proliferation of FSCs. Thus, monitoring of the pars distalis hormonal levels might be useful for early detection of some hazardous effects possibly associated with the use of gold-nanoparticles.

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