Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 185, Issue 1, pp 124–134 | Cite as

Acute and Cumulative Effects of Unmodified 50-nm Nano-ZnO on Mice

  • Tao KongEmail author
  • Shu-Hui Zhang
  • Ji-Liang Zhang
  • Xue-Qin Hao
  • Fan Yang
  • Cai Zhang
  • Zi-Jun Yang
  • Meng-Yu Zhang
  • Jie Wang


Nanometer zinc oxide (nano-ZnO) is widely used in diverse industrial and agricultural fields. Due to the extensive contact humans have with these particles, it is crucial to understand the potential effects that nano-ZnO have on human health. Currently, information related to the toxicity and mechanisms of nano-ZnO is limited. The aim of the present study was to investigate acute and cumulative toxic effects of 50-nm unmodified ZnO in mice. This investigation will seek to establish median lethal dose (LD50), a cumulative coefficient, and target organs. The acute and cumulative toxicity was investigated by Karber’s method and via a dose-increasing method, respectively. During the experiment, clinical signs, mortality, body weights, hematology, serum biochemistry, gross pathology, organ weight, and histopathology were examined. The LD50 was 5177-mg/kg·bw; the 95% confidence limits for the LD50 were 5116–5238-mg/kg·bw. It could be concluded that the liver, kidney, lung, and gastrointestinal tract were target organs for the 50-nm nano-ZnO acute oral treatment. The cumulative coefficient (K) was 1.9 which indicated that the cumulative toxicity was apparent. The results also indicated that the liver, kidney, lung, and pancrea were target organs for 50-nm nano-ZnO cumulative oral exposure and might be target organs for subchronic and chronic toxicity of oral administered 50-nm ZnO.


Nanometer zinc oxide LD50 Acute toxicity Accumulation coefficient Cumulative toxicity Target organs 


Funding Information

This study was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 31402263 and 41301562).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Animal Science and Veterinary MedicineHenan University of Science and TechnologyLuoyangPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Environmental and Animal Products Safety Laboratory of Key Discipline in University of Henan ProvinceLuoyangPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Library of Henan University of Science and TechnologyLuoyangPeople’s Republic of China

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