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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 104135, 11 pages
Research Article

PEGylated Carbon Nanotubes Impair Retrieval of Contextual Fear Memory and Alter Oxidative Stress Parameters in the Rat Hippocampus

1Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ciências Fisiológicas-Fisiologia Animal Comparada, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande, 96203-900 Rio Grande, RS, Brazil
2Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ciências Farmacêuticas, Faculdade de Farmácia, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, 90610-000 Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil
3Laboratório de Química de Nanoestruturas de Carbono, Centro de Desenvolvimento da Tecnologia Nuclear, C.P. 941, 31270-901 Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil

Received 20 October 2014; Revised 30 December 2014; Accepted 31 December 2014

Academic Editor: Paula I. Moreira

Copyright © 2015 Lidiane Dal Bosco et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Carbon nanotubes (CNT) are promising materials for biomedical applications, especially in the field of neuroscience; therefore, it is essential to evaluate the neurotoxicity of these nanomaterials. The present work assessed the effects of single-walled CNT functionalized with polyethylene glycol (SWCNT-PEG) on the consolidation and retrieval of contextual fear memory in rats and on oxidative stress parameters in the hippocampus. SWCNT-PEG were dispersed in water at concentrations of 0.5, 1.0, and 2.1 mg/mL and infused into the rat hippocampus. The infusion was completed immediately after training and 30 min before testing of a contextual fear conditioning task, resulting in exposure times of 24 h and 30 min, respectively. The results showed that a short exposure to SWCNT-PEG impaired fear memory retrieval and caused lipid peroxidation in the hippocampus. This response was transient and overcome by the mobilization of antioxidant defenses at 24 h. These effects occurred at low and intermediate but not high concentration of SWCNT-PEG, suggesting that the observed biological response may be related to the concentration-dependent increase in particle size in SWCNT-PEG dispersions.