Toxicity of orally administered food-grade titanium dioxide nanoparticles
Background The International Agency for Research on Cancer classified as a Group B carcinogen inhaled titanium dioxide (TiO 2 ) nanoparticles, and France banned the application of TiO 2 nanoparticles as a food additive based on the insufficient oral toxicity data. However, there still remains controversial due to the insufficient evidence for its safety. Here, we explored the toxicity of food-grade TiO 2 nanoparticles (hereafter, E171) in vivo and in vitro . Methods We investigated the
... igated the subchronic toxic responses of E171 (0, 10, 100, and 1,000 mg/kg) under the Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) system and tried to elucidate the possible toxic mechanism using AGS cells, a human stomach epithelial cell line. Results There were no dose-related changes in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development test guideline-related endpoints. Meanwhile, E171 deeply penetrated cells lining the stomach tissues of rats administered the maximum dose, and blood IgM (male and female) and GM-CSF (female) levels were significantly lower in the E171-treated rats than in the control rats. Colonic SOD-1 (male and female) and SOD-2 (female) protein levels decreased with increasing Ti accumulation. When exposed to AGS cells for 24 h, E171 (40 μg/mL) located in the perinuclear region. The E171 treatment affected expression of ER stress-related proteins but did not induce cell death up to the used maximum concentration (40 μg/mL). A gene profile analysis also showed that immune response-related microRNAs were most strongly affected by E171 exposure. Conclusion Considering the potential toxicity observed in vivo and in vitro test, we concluded that the NOAEL of E171 for 90-days repeated oral administrations is less than 1,000 mg/kg for both male and female rats. Additionally, E171 may attenuate host's defense function against foreign bodies by decreasing antioxidant capacity, thus we propose that chronic toxicity studies on E171 are required to warrant the safety for use in the food industry.