Pulmonary toxicity and translocation of nanodiamonds in mice

Department of Clinical Laboratory, Third Hospital of Peking University, Beijing 100083, China
Diamond and Related Materials (Impact Factor: 1.92). 01/2010; 19(4):291-299. DOI: 10.1016/j.diamond.2009.11.022


Because of the possible health threat of nanodiamonds (NDs) to organisms, the pulmonary toxicity and translocation of NDs in different sizes in mice were investigated after intratracheal instillation administration. Biochemical assays, ultrastructural and histopathological evaluations of the lungs of the control and the ND exposed mice were carried out at 1, 7, 14 or 28 days post-exposure. Exposure to 1.0 mg/kg NDs with an average diameter of 4 nm produced a temporary lung index increase at 1 day post-exposure. NDs did not have evident adverse effects in the lungs within the studied period according to histopathological and ultrastructural investigations. Furthermore, no lipid peroxidation of the lung was observed. On the whole, intratracheally instilled NDs are of low pulmonary toxicity. In addition, the amount of NDs in alveolar decreased with time elapsed and the macrophages burdened with NDs were clearly observed in the bronchia from 1 day to 28 days post-exposure. Thus we affirm the critical role of alveolar macrophages in the main excretion pathway of NDs from the lungs, i.e. they engulf the NDs, migrate upward to the trachea by escalator/mucociliary system and finally enter the pharynx.

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    • "Studies by Schrand et al reported that NDs are non-toxic in various different cell types and did not cause significant reactive oxygen species [8]. Moreover, NDs instilled intratracheally showed no significant adverse effects in the lungs of mice [9]. Although much work has been done with NDs, biophysical analysis and morphological changes at the single cell level, which are important in understanding the dynamics of metastasis, are lacking. "
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