N-Acetylcysteine reverses silver nanoparticle intoxication in rats

The increasing use of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) in consumer products raises the risk of human toxicity. Currently, there are no therapeutic options or established treatment protocols in cases of AgNPs intoxication. We demonstrated previously that thiol antioxidants compounds can reverse the cytotoxicity induced by AgNPs in Huh-7 hepatocarcinoma cells. Here, we investigated the use of N-acetylcysteine (NAC) against the systemic toxic effects of AgNPs (79.3 nm) in rats. Biochemical, histopathological, hematological, and oxidative parameters showed that a single intravenous injection of AgNPs (5 mg/kg b.w.) induced deleterious effects such as hepatotoxicity, potentially as a result of AgNPs accumulation in the liver. Treatment with a single intraperitoneal injection of NAC (1 g/kg b.w.) one hour after AgNPs exposure significantly attenuated all toxic effects evaluated and altered the bioaccumulation and release patterns of AgNPs in rats. The findings show that NAC may be a promising candidate for clinical management of AgNPs intoxication.