Neoplastic-like transformation effect of single-walled and multi-walled carbon nanotubes compared to asbestos on human lung small airway epithelial cells

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), 1095 Willowdale Road, Morgantown, Virginia, United States, 26505.
Nanotoxicology (Impact Factor: 6.41). 05/2013; 8(5). DOI: 10.3109/17435390.2013.801089
Source: PubMed


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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    • "E-mail: MWCNT with biological systems, highlighting severe toxic effects induced by these materials (Kayat et al., 2011; Mercer et al., 2013; Porter et al., 2013; Shvedova et al., 2013; Wang et al., 2014). "
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Aggregates of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) impair the barrier properties of human airway cell monolayers. To resolve the mechanism of the barrier alteration, monolayers of Calu-3 human airway epithelial cells were exposed to aggregated MWCNT. At the cell-population level, trans-epithelial electrical resistance (TEER) was used as an indicator of barrier competence, caspase activity was assessed with standard biochemical assays, and cell viability was investigated by biochemical techniques and high-throughput screening (HTS) technique based on automated epifluorescence microscopy. At cell level, the response to MWCNT was investigated with confocal microscopy, by evaluating cell death (calcein/propidium iodide (PI)), proliferation (Ki-67), and apoptosis (caspase activity). At the cell-population level, exposure to aggregated MWCNT caused a decrease in TEER, which was not associated with a decrease in cell viability or onset of apoptosis even after an 8-d exposure. In contrast, confocal imaging demonstrated contact with MWCNT aggregates triggered cell death after 24 h of exposure. In the presence of a natural surfactant, both TEER decrease and contact-mediated toxicity were mitigated. With confocal imaging, increased proliferation and apoptosis were detected in Calu-3 cells next to the aggregates. Contact-mediated cytotoxicity was recorded in two additional cell lines (BEAS-2B and A549) derived from human airways. Similar results were confirmed by adopting two additional MWCNT preparations with different physico-chemical features. This indicates MWCNT caused localized damage to airway epithelial monolayers in vitro and altered the apoptotic and proliferative rate of epithelial cells in close proximity to the aggregates. These findings provide evidence on the pathway by which MWCNT aggregates impair airway barrier function, and support the use of imaging techniques as a possible regulatory-decision supporting tool to identify effects of aggregated nanomaterials not readily detected at cell population level.
    Nanotoxicology 05/2014; 9(2):1-12. DOI:10.3109/17435390.2014.918203 · 6.41 Impact Factor
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    • "The objective of this study was to address human lung cancer risks associated with chronic pulmonary exposure to SWCNT through the fundamental understanding of cellular and molecular processes leading to carcinogenesis. Long-term exposure to workplace-relevant doses of SWCNT, one of the major forms of engineered CNT, were previously shown by our group to induce irreversible malignant transformation and alter cancer-related canonical pathways of lung epithelial cells [24,25]. However, detailed understandings of the pathological process are lacking. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Carbon nanotubes (CNT) hold great promise to create new and better products for commercial and biomedical applications, but their long-term adverse health effects are a major concern. The objective of this study was to address human lung cancer risks associated with chronic pulmonary exposure to single-walled (SW) CNT through the fundamental understanding of cellular and molecular processes leading to carcinogenesis. We hypothesized that the acquisition of cancer stem cells (CSC), a subpopulation that drive tumor initiation and progression, may contribute to CNT carcinogenesis. Methods Non-tumorigenic human lung epithelial cells were chronically exposed to well-dispersed SWCNT for a period of 6 months at the physiologically relevant concentration of 0.02 μg/cm2 surface area dose. Chronic SWCNT-exposed cells were evaluated for the presence of CSC-like cells under CSC-selective conditions of tumor spheres and side population (SP). CSC-like cells were isolated using fluorescence-activated cell sorting and were assessed for aggressive behaviors, including acquired apoptosis resistance and increased cell migration and invasion in vitro, and tumor-initiating capability in vivo. Non-small cell lung cancer cells served as a positive control. Results We demonstrated for the first time the existence of CSC-like cells in all clones of chronic SWCNT-exposed lung epithelial cells. These CSC-like cells, in contrary to their non-CSC counterpart, possessed all biological features of lung CSC that are central to irreversible malignant transformation, self-renewal, aggressive cancer behaviors, and in vivo tumorigenesis. These cells also displayed aberrant stem cell markers, notably Nanog, SOX-2, SOX-17 and E-cadherin. Restored expression of tumor suppressor p53 abrogated CSC properties of CSC-like cells. Furthermore, we identified specific stem cell surface markers CD24low and CD133high that are associated with SWCNT-induced CSC formation and tumorigenesis. Conclusions Our findings provide new and compelling evidence for the acquisition of CSC-like cells induced by chronic SWCNT exposure, which are likely to be a major driving force for SWCNT tumorigenesis. Thus, our study supports prudent adoption of prevention strategies and implementation of exposure control for SWCNT. We also suggest that the detection of CSC and associated surface markers may provide an effective screening tool for prediction of the carcinogenic potential of SWCNT and related nanoparticles.
    Particle and Fibre Toxicology 05/2014; 11(1):22. DOI:10.1186/1743-8977-11-22 · 7.11 Impact Factor
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    • "The metal residues were mostly iron (Fe) at 0.23% by weight. The surface area, length, and width of individual dry SWCNT were 400-1040 m2/g, 0.6 ± 0.5 μm, and 1 ± 0.2 nm (W), respectively [52]. SWCNTs were dispersed by using acetone/sonication method as previously described [12]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Cancer stem cells (CSCs) may represent targets for carcinogenic initiation by chemical and environmental agents. Recent studies have raised a concern over the potential carcinogenicity of carbon nanotubes (CNTs), one of the most commonly used engineered nanomaterials with asbestos-like properties. Here, we show that chronic (6-month) exposure of human lung epithelial cells to single-walled (SW) CNTs at the workplace-relevant concentration induced an emergence of lung CSCs, as indicated by the induction of CSC tumor spheres and side population (SP). These CSCs, which were found to overexpress tumor promoter caveolin-1 (Cav-1), displayed aggressive cancer phenotypes of apoptosis resistance and enhanced cell invasion and migration compared with their non-CSC counterpart. Using gene manipulation strategies, we reveal for the first time that Cav-1 plays an essential role in CSC regulation and aggressiveness of SWCNT-transformed cells partly through p53 dysregulation, consistent with their suggested role by microarray and gene ontology analysis. Cav-1 not only promoted tumorigenesis in a xenograft mouse model but also metastasis of the transformed cells to neighboring tissues. Since CSCs are crucial to the initiation and early development of carcinogenesis, our findings on CSC induction by SWCNTs and Cav-1 could aid in the early detection and risk assessment of the disease.
    Oncotarget 05/2014; 5(11). DOI:10.18632/oncotarget.1956 · 6.36 Impact Factor
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