Toxicity and clearance of intratracheally administered multiwalled carbon nanotubes from murine lung.
ABSTRACT Carbon nanotubes (CNT) are known to have widespread industrial applications; however, several reports indicated that these compounds may be associated with adverse effects in humans. In this study, multiwalled carbon nanotubes were administered to murine lungs intratracheally to determine whether acute and chronic pulmonary toxicity occurred. In particular, pristine multiwalled carbon nanotubes (PMWCNT) and acid-treated multiwalled carbon nanotubes (TMWCNT) were used in this study. In broncheoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) cell analysis, PMWCNT induced more severe acute inflammatory cell recruitment than TMWCNT. Histopathologically, both PMWCNT and TMWCNT induced multifocal inflammatory granulomas in a dose-dependent manner. The observed granulomas were reversible, with TMWCNT-induced granulomas diminishing faster than PMWCNT-induced granulomas. Although the area of granuloma reduced with time, hyperplasia and dysplastic characteristics such as mitotic figures, anisokaryosis, and anisocytosis were still observed. These findings demonstrate that MWCNT induces granulomatous inflammation, and the duration and pattern of inflammation seem to vary depending upon the types of MWCNT to which mice are exposed. Therefore, toxicity studies on various types of CNT are needed as the responsiveness to these compounds differs.
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ABSTRACT: There is increasing concern about the toxicity of inhaled multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs). Pulmonary macrophages represent the primary cell type involved in the clearance of inhaled particulate materials, and induction of apoptosis in these cells has been considered to contribute to the development of lung fibrosis. We have investigated the apoptotic, inflammogenic, and fibrogenic potential of two types of MWCNTs, characterised by a contrasting average tube length and entanglement/agglomeration. Both nanotube types triggered H2O2 formation by RAW 264.7 macrophages, but in vitro toxicity was exclusively seen with the longer MWCNT. Both types of nanotubes caused granuloma in the mouse lungs. However, the long MWCNT induced a more pronounced pro-fibrotic (mRNA expression of matrix metalloproteinase-8 and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1) and inflammatory (serum level of monocyte chemotactic protein-1) response. Masson trichrome staining also revealed epithelial cell hyperplasia for this type of MWCNT. Enhanced apoptosis was detected by cleaved caspase 3 immunohistochemistry in lungs of mice treated with the long and rigid MWCNT and, to a lesser extent, with the shorter, highly agglomerated MWCNT. However, staining was merely localised to granulomatous foci, and neither of the MWCNTs induced apoptosis in vitro, evaluated by caspase 3/7 activity in RAW 264.7 cells. In addition, our study reveals that the inflammatory and pro-fibrotic effects of MWCNTs in the mouse lung can vary considerably depending on their composition. The in vitro analysis of macrophage apoptosis appears to be a poor predictor of their pulmonary hazard.Archives of Toxicology 03/2014; · 5.22 Impact Factor
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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; · 7.84 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: It has been recently proposed that nanomaterials, alone or in concert with their specific biomolecular conjugates, can be used to directly modulate the immune system, therefore offering a new tool for the enhancement of immune-based therapies against infectious disease and cancer. Here, we revised the publications on the impact of functionalized carbon nanotubes (f-CNTs), graphene and carbon nanohorns on immune cells. Whereas f-CNTs are the nanomaterial most widely investigated, we noticed a progressive increase of studies focusing on graphene in the last couple of years. The majority of the works (56%) have been carried out on macrophages, following by lymphocytes (30% of the studies). In the case of lymphocytes, T cells were the most investigated (22%) followed by monocytes and dendritic cells (7%), mixed cell populations (peripheral blood mononuclear cells, 6%), and B and natural killer (NK) cells (1%). Most of the studies focused on toxicity and biocompatibility, while mechanistic insights on the effect of carbon nanotubes on immune cells are generally lacking. Only very recently high-throughput gene-expression analyses have shed new lights on unrecognized effects of carbon nanomaterials on the immune system. These investigations have demonstrated that some f-CNTs can directly elicitate specific inflammatory pathways. The interaction of graphene with the immune system is still at a very early stage of investigation. This comprehensive state of the art on biocompatible f-CNTs and graphene on immune cells provides a useful compass to guide future researches on immunological applications of carbon nanomaterials in medicine.Journal of translational medicine. 05/2014; 12(1):138.