Neoplastic-like transformation effect of single-walled and multi-walled-carbon nanotubes compared to asbestos on human lung small airway epithelial cells.
ABSTRACT Abstract Accumulating evidence indicates that carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are biopersistent and can cause lung damage. With similar fibrous morphology and mode of exposure to asbestos, a known human carcinogen, growing concern has arisen for elevated risk of CNT-induced lung carcinogenesis; however, relatively little is known about the long-term carcinogenic effect of CNT. Neoplastic transformation is a key early event leading to carcinogenesis. We studied the ability of single- and multi-walled CNTs to induce neoplastic transformation of human lung epithelial cells compared to asbestos. Long-term (6 month) exposure of the cells to occupationally relevant concentrations of CNT in culture caused a neoplastic-like transformation phenotype as demonstrated by increased cell proliferation, anchorage-independent growth, invasion and angiogenesis. Whole genome expression signature and protein expression analyses showed that single- and multi-walled CNTs shared similar signaling signatures which were distinct from asbestos. These results provide novel toxicogenomic information and suggest distinct particle-associated mechanisms of neoplasia promotion induced by CNTs and asbestos.
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ABSTRACT: A rapid increase in utility of engineered nanomaterials, including carbon nanotubes (CNTs), has raised a concern over their safety. Based on recent evidence from animal studies, pulmonary exposure of CNTs may lead to nanoparticle accumulation in the deep lung without effective clearance which could interact with local lung cells for a long period of time. Physicochemical similarities of CNTs to asbestos fibers may contribute to their asbestos-like carcinogenic potential after long-term exposure, which has not been well addressed. More studies are needed to identify and predict the carcinogenic potential and mechanisms for promoting their safe use. Our previous study reported a long-term in vitro exposure model for CNT carcinogenicity and showed that 6-month sub-chronic exposure of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNT) causes malignant transformation of human lung epithelial cells. In addition, the transformed cells induced tumor formation in mice and exhibited an apoptosis resistant phenotype, a key characteristic of cancer cells. Although the potential role of p53 in the transformation process was identified, the underlying mechanisms of oncogenesis remain largely undefined. Here, we further examined the gene expression profile by using genome microarrays to profile molecular mechanisms of SWCNT oncogenesis. Based on differentially expressed genes, possible mechanisms of SWCNT-associated apoptosis resistance and oncogenesis were identified, which included activation of pAkt/p53/Bcl-2 signaling axis, increased gene expression of Ras family for cell cycle control, Dsh-mediated Notch 1, and downregulation of apoptotic genes BAX and Noxa. Activated immune responses were among the major changes of biological function. Our findings shed light on potential molecular mechanisms and signaling pathways involved in SWCNT oncogenic potential.Nanoscale Research Letters 12/2015; 10(1):12. DOI:10.1186/s11671-014-0707-0 · 2.52 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Given their remarkable properties, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have made their way through various industrial and medicinal applications and the overall production of CNTs is expected to grow rapidly in the next few years, thus requiring an additional recruitment of workers. However, their unique applications and desirable properties are fraught with concerns regarding occupational exposure. The concern about worker exposure to CNTs arises from the results of recent animal studies. Short-term and sub-chronic exposure studies in rodents have shown consistent adverse health effects such as pulmonary inflammation, granulomas, fibrosis, genotoxicity and mesothelioma after inhalation or instillation of several types of CNTs. Furthermore, physicochemical properties of CNTs such as dispersion, functionalization and particle size can significantly affect their pulmonary toxicity. Risk estimates from animal studies necessitate implementation of protective measures to limit worker exposure to CNTs. Information on workplace exposure is very limited, however, studies have reported that CNTs can be aerosolized and attain respirable airborne levels during synthesis and processing activities in the workplace. Quantitative risk assessments from sub-chronic animal studies recommend the health-based need to reduce exposures below the recommended exposure limit of 1 μg/m3. Practice of prevention measures including the use of engineering controls, personal protective equipment, health surveillance program, safe handling and use, as well as worker training can significantly minimize worker exposure and improve worker health and safety.
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ABSTRACT: Understanding toxicity pathways of engineered nanomaterials (ENM) has recently been brought forward as a key step in twenty-first century ENM risk assessment. Molecular mechanisms linked to phenotypic end points is a step towards the development of toxicity tests based on key events, which may allow for grouping of ENM according to their modes of action. This study identified molecular mechanisms underlying mitochondrial dysfunction in human bronchial epithelial BEAS 2B cells following exposure to one of the most studied multi-walled carbon nanotubes (Mitsui MWCNT-7). Asbestos was used as a positive control and a non-carcinogenic glass wool material was included as a negative fibre control. Decreased mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP↓) was observed for MWCNTs at a biologically relevant dose (0.25 μg/cm(2)) and for asbestos at 2 μg/cm(2), but not for glass wool. Extensive temporal transcriptomic and microRNA expression analyses identified a 330-gene signature (including 26 genes with known mitochondrial function) related to MWCNT- and asbestos-induced MMP↓. Forty-nine of the MMP↓-associated genes showed highly similar expression patterns over time (six time points) and the majority was found to be regulated by two transcription factors strongly involved in mitochondrial homeostasis, APP and NRF1. In addition, four miRNAs were correlated with MMP↓ and one of them, miR-1275, was found to negatively correlate with a large part of the MMP↓-associated genes. Cellular processes such as gluconeogenesis, mitochondrial LC-fatty acid β-oxidation and spindle microtubule function were enriched among the MMP↓-associated genes and miRNAs. These results are expected to be useful in the identification of key events in ENM-related toxicity pathways for the development of molecular screening techniques.Nanotoxicology 04/2015; DOI:10.3109/17435390.2015.1017022 · 7.34 Impact Factor