+1 Recommend
0 collections
      • Record: found
      • Abstract: found
      • Article: found
      Is Open Access

      Carbon black nanoparticle instillation induces sustained inflammation and genotoxicity in mouse lung and liver

      Read this article at

          There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.



          Widespread occupational exposure to carbon black nanoparticles (CBNPs) raises concerns over their safety. CBNPs are genotoxic in vitro but less is known about their genotoxicity in various organs in vivo.


          We investigated inflammatory and acute phase responses, DNA strand breaks (SB) and oxidatively damaged DNA in C57BL/6 mice 1, 3 and 28 days after a single instillation of 0.018, 0.054 or 0.162 mg Printex 90 CBNPs, alongside sham controls. Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid was analyzed for cellular composition. SB in BAL cells, whole lung and liver were assessed using the alkaline comet assay. Formamidopyrimidine DNA glycosylase (FPG) sensitive sites were assessed as an indicator of oxidatively damaged DNA. Pulmonary and hepatic acute phase response was evaluated by Saa3 mRNA real-time quantitative PCR.


          Inflammation was strongest 1 and 3 days post-exposure, and remained elevated for the two highest doses (i.e., 0.054 and 0.162 mg) 28 days post-exposure (P < 0.001). SB were detected in lung at all doses on post-exposure day 1 (P < 0.001) and remained elevated at the two highest doses until day 28 (P < 0.05). BAL cell DNA SB were elevated relative to controls at least at the highest dose on all post-exposure days (P < 0.05). The level of FPG sensitive sites in lung was increased throughout with significant increases occurring on post-exposure days 1 and 3, in comparison to controls (P < 0.001-0.05). SB in liver were detected on post-exposure days 1 (P < 0.001) and 28 (P < 0.001). Polymorphonuclear (PMN) cell counts in BAL correlated strongly with FPG sensitive sites in lung (r = 0.88, P < 0.001), whereas no such correlation was observed with SB (r = 0.52, P = 0.08). CBNP increased the expression of Saa3 mRNA in lung tissue on day 1 (all doses), 3 (all doses) and 28 (0.054 and 0.162 mg), but not in liver.


          Deposition of CBNPs in lung induces inflammatory and genotoxic effects in mouse lung that persist considerably after the initial exposure. Our results demonstrate that CBNPs may cause genotoxicity both in the primary exposed tissue, lung and BAL cells, and in a secondary tissue, the liver.

          Related collections

          Most cited references 62

          • Record: found
          • Abstract: found
          • Article: not found

          8-Hydroxyguanine, an abundant form of oxidative DNA damage, causes G----T and A----C substitutions.

          Mutations caused by oxidative DNA damage may contribute to human disease. A major product of that damage is 8-hydroxyguanine (oh8Gua). Because of differences in experimental design, the base pairing specificity of oh8G in vivo is not completely resolved. Here, oh8dGTP and DNA polymerase were used in two complementary bacteriophage plaque color assays to examine the mutagenic specificity of oh8Gua in vivo. The first is a reversion assay that detects all three single-base substitutions caused by misreading of guanine analogues inserted at a specific site. oh8Gua at that site gave a mutation frequency of 0.7%. Twenty-two of the 23 mutations were G----T substitutions. The second assay, a forward mutation assay, tests the mispairing potential of any altered nucleotide 1) during incorporation as substrate nucleotide, and 2) after multiple incorporations into a single-stranded DNA gap region of M13mp2. Substituting oh8dGTP for dGTP during polymerization produced 16% mutants; two classes of mutations were observed, both caused by pairing of oh8Gua with A. Seventy-six of 78 mutations were A----C substitutions, and two were G----T substitutions. These assays thus illustrate mutagenic replication of oh8Gua as template causing G----T substitutions and misincorporation of oh8Gua as substrate causing A----C substitutions, both caused by oh8Gua.A mispairs.
            • Record: found
            • Abstract: found
            • Article: not found

            Extrapulmonary translocation of ultrafine carbon particles following whole-body inhalation exposure of rats.

            Studies with intravenously injected ultrafine particles have shown that the liver is the major organ of their uptake from the blood circulation. Measuring translocation of inhaled ultrafine particles to extrapulmonary organs via the blood compartment is hampered by methodological difficulties (i.e., label may come off, partial solubilization) and analytical limitations (measurement of very small amounts). The objective of our pilot study was to determine whether ultrafine elemental carbon particles translocate to the liver and other extrapulmonary organs following inhalation as singlet particles by rats. We generated ultrafine (13)C particles as an aerosol with count median diameters (CMDs) of 20-29 nm (GSD 1.7) using electric spark discharge of (13)C graphite electrodes in argon. Nine Fischer 344 rats were exposed to these particles for 6 h. in whole-body inhalation chambers at concentrations of 180 and 80 microg/m(3); 3 animals each were killed at 0.5, 18, and 24 h postexposure. Six unexposed rats served as controls. Lung lobes, liver, heart, brain, olfactory bulb, and kidney were excised, homogenized, and freeze-dried for analysis of the added (13)C by isotope ratio mass spectrometry. Organic (13)C was not detected in the (13)C particles. The (13)C retained in the lung at 0.5 h postexposure was about 70% less than predicted by rat deposition models for ultrafine particles, and did not change significantly during the 24-h postexposure period. Normalized to exposure concentration, the added (13)C per gram of lung on average in the postexposure period was approximately 9 ng/g organ/microg/m(3). Significant amounts of (13)C had accumulated in the liver by 0.5 h postinhalation only at the high exposure concentration, whereas by 18 and 24 h postexposure the (13)C amount of the livers of all exposed rats was about fivefold greater than the (13)C burden retained in the lung. No significant increase in (13)C was detected in the other organs which were examined. These results demonstrate effective translocation of ultrafine elemental carbon particles to the liver by 1 d after inhalation exposure. Translocation pathways include direct input into the blood compartment from ultrafine carbon particles deposited throughout the respiratory tract. However, since predictive particle deposition models indicate that respiratory tract deposits alone may not fully account for the hepatic (13)C burden, input from ultrafine particles present in the GI tract needs to be considered as well. Such translocation to blood and extrapulmonary tissues may well be different between ultrafine carbon and other insoluble (metal) ultrafine particles.
              • Record: found
              • Abstract: found
              • Article: not found

              Rapid translocation of nanoparticles from the lung airspaces to the body.

              Nano-size particles show promise for pulmonary drug delivery, yet their behavior after deposition in the lung remains poorly understood. In this study, a series of near-infrared (NIR) fluorescent nanoparticles were systematically varied in chemical composition, shape, size and surface charge, and their biodistribution and elimination were quantified in rat models after lung instillation. We demonstrate that nanoparticles with hydrodynamic diameter (HD) less than ≈34 nm and a noncationic surface charge translocate rapidly from the lung to mediastinal lymph nodes. Nanoparticles of HD < 6 nm can traffic rapidly from the lungs to lymph nodes and the bloodstream, and then be subsequently cleared by the kidneys. We discuss the importance of these findings for drug delivery, air pollution and carcinogenesis.

                Author and article information

                Part Fibre Toxicol
                Particle and Fibre Toxicology
                BioMed Central
                2 February 2012
                : 9
                : 5
                [1 ]Health Canada, Environmental and Radiation Health Sciences Directorate, Mechanistic Studies Division, Tunney's Pasture, Ottawa, Canada
                [2 ]National Research Centre for the Working Environment, Copenhagen, Denmark
                [3 ]Univesity of Copenhagen, Department of Public Health, Section of Environmental Health, Copenhagen, Denmark
                Copyright ©2012 Bourdon et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



                inflammation, oxidative stress, carbon black, nanoparticles, genotoxicity, dna strand breaks


                Comment on this article