Nanoceria is used as a catalyst in diesel fuel, as an abrasive in printed circuit manufacture, and is being pursued as an antioxidant therapeutic. Our objective is to extend previous findings showing that there were no reductions of cerium in organs of the mononuclear phagocyte (reticuloendothelial) system up to 30 days after a single nanoscale ceria administration. An ~5% aqueous dispersion of citrate-stabilized 30 nm ceria, synthesized and characterized in-house, or vehicle, was iv infused into rats terminated 1, 7, 30, or 90 days later. Cageside observations were obtained daily, body weight weekly. Daily urinary and fecal cerium outputs were quantified for 2 weeks. Nine organs were weighed and samples collected from 14 tissues/organs/systems, blood and cerebrospinal fluid for cerium determination. Histology and oxidative stress were assessed. Less than 1% of the nanoceria was excreted in the first 2 weeks, 98% in feces. Body weight gain was initially impaired. Spleen weight was significantly increased in some ceria-treated groups, associated with abnormalities. Ceria was primarily retained in the spleen, liver, and bone marrow. There was little decrease of ceria in any tissue over the 90 days. Granulomas were observed in the liver. Time-dependent oxidative stress changes were seen in the liver and spleen. Nanoscale ceria was persistently retained by organs of the mononuclear phagocyte system, associated with adverse changes. The results support concern about the long-term fate and adverse effects of inert nanoscale metal oxides that distribute throughout the body, are persistently retained, and produce adverse changes.

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Published in Toxicological Sciences, v. 127, issue 1.

© The Author 2012

The copyright holder has granted the permission for posting the article here.

This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in Toxicological Sciences following peer review. The version of record [Yokel, R. A., Au, T. C., MacPhail, R., Hardas, S. S., Butterfield, D. A., Sultana, R., Goodman, M., Tseng, M. T., Dan, M., Haghnazar, H., Unrine, J. M., Graham, U. M., Wu, P., & Grulke, E. A. (2012). Distribution, elimination, and biopersistence to 90 days of a systemically introduced 30 nm ceria-engineered nanomaterial in rats. Toxicological Sciences, 127(1), 256-268.] is available online at: https://doi.org/10.1093/toxsci/kfs067

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This work was supported by United States Environmental Protection Agency Science to Achieve Results (grant number RD-833772).

Support was provided to T.C.A. (Summer Undergraduate Research Program) from The Pharmaceutical Sciences Department and Office of the Dean, College of Pharmacy, University of Kentucky.

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Supplementary data is available at https://doi.org/10.1093/toxsci/kfs067.