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Porto Alegre, Brazil

Charao M.F.,Laboratory of Toxicology LA TOX | Souto C.,Laboratory of Toxicology LA TOX | Brucker N.,Laboratory of Toxicology LA TOX | Barth A.,Laboratory of Toxicology LA TOX | And 7 more authors.
International Journal of Nanomedicine

Caenorhabditis elegans is an alternative in vivo model that is being successfully used to assess the pharmacological and toxic effects of drugs. The exponential growth of nanotechnology requires the use of alternative in vivo models to assess the toxic effects of theses nanomaterials. The use of polymeric nanocapsules has shown promising results for drug delivery. Moreover, these formulations have not been used in cases of intoxication, such as in treatment of paraquat (PQ) poisoning. Thus, the use of drugs with properties improved by nanotechnology is a promising approach to overcome the toxic effects of PQ. This research aimed to evaluate the absorption of rhodamine B-labeled melatonin (Mel)-loaded lipid-core nanocapsules (LNC) by C. elegans, the application of this model in nanotoxicology, and the protection of Mel-LNC against PQ damage. The formulations were prepared by self-assembly and characterized by particle sizing, zeta potential, drug content, and encapsulation efficiency. The results demonstrated that the formulations had narrow size distributions. Rhodamine B-labeled Mel-LNC were orally absorbed and distributed in the worms. The toxicity assessment of LNC showed a lethal dose 50% near the highest dose tested, indicating low toxicity of the nanocapsules. Moreover, pretreatment with Mel-LNC significantly increased the survival rate, reduced the reactive oxygen species, and maintained the development in C. elegans exposed to PQ compared to those worms that were either untreated or pretreated with free Mel. These results demonstrated for the first time the uptake and distribution of Mel-LNC by a nematode, and indicate that while LNC is not toxic, Mel-LNC prevents the effects of PQ poisoning. Thus, C. elegans may be an interesting alternative model to test the nanocapsules toxicity and efficacy. © 2015 Charão et al. Source

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