Silver nanoparticles (AgNP) are among the most promising nanomaterials, and their usage in medical applications and consumer products is growing rapidly. To evaluate possible adverse health effects, especially to the lungs, the current study focused on the cytotoxic and proinflammatory effects of AgNP after the intratracheal instillation in rats. Monodisperse, PVP-coated AgNP (70 nm) showing little agglomeration in aqueous suspension were instilled intratracheally. After 24 hours, the lungs were lavaged, and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), total protein, and cytokine levels as well as total and differential cell counts were measured in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF). Instillation of 50 µg PVP-AgNP did not result in elevated LDH, total protein, or cytokine levels in BALF compared to the control, whereas instillation of 250 µg PVP-AgNP caused a significant increase in LDH (1.9-fold) and total protein (1.3-fold) levels as well as in neutrophil numbers (60-fold) of BALF. Furthermore, while there was no change in BALF cytokine levels after the instillation of 50 µg PVP-AgNP, instillation of 250 µg PVP-AgNP resulted in significantly increased levels of seven out of eleven measured cytokines. These finding suggest that exposure to inhaled AgNP can induce moderate pulmonary toxicity, but only at rather high concentrations.
cytotoxicity; inflammation; pulmonary toxicity; silver nanoparticles
BACKGROUND--The transit of neutrophils through the pulmonary microvasculature is prolonged compared with red blood cells and is increased further during cigarette smoking and in exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The increased residence time (sequestration) of neutrophils in the pulmonary capillaries in these conditions may be the first step leading to the accumulation of cells within the lung interstitium and in the bronchoalveolar space, so potentiating lung damage. A rat model has been developed to investigate the factors which may influence neutrophil transit through the lung microvasculature. METHODS--Intratracheal instillation of the heat killed organism Corynebacterium parvum was used to induce an acute neutrophil alveolitis. Neutrophils and red blood cells were isolated from donor rats, labelled with two distinct radioisotopes, and then reinjected into recipient rats to assess their transit through the pulmonary circulation. To ascertain whether peripheral blood neutrophils were minimally altered by the isolation procedure their functional status in vitro was compared with that of inflammatory neutrophils in a number of assays commonly used as descriptors of neutrophil activation. The influence of neutrophil activation on the accumulation of cells in the lungs was assessed by comparing the lung sequestration of control neutrophils, isolated from peripheral blood, with that of inflammatory neutrophils obtained from bronchoalveolar lavage of inflamed rat lungs. Lung sequestration of neutrophils was defined as the fold increase in the ratio of neutrophils labelled with chromium-51 to red blood cells labelled with technetium-99m in lung tissue compared with the same ratio in peripheral blood. RESULTS--Sequestration of peripheral blood neutrophils occurred in control rat lungs as shown by a 17.5 (2.1) fold increase in the ratio of neutrophils to red blood cells in the pulmonary circulation compared with the ratio of these cells in the peripheral circulation. When inflammatory neutrophils, obtained by bronchoalveolar lavage from C parvum-treated animals, were injected into control rats, the increase was 90.6 (11.0) fold. Induction of an inflammatory response in the lung tissue of the recipient rat also caused an increase in the sequestration of control neutrophils compared with the same cells in control rat lungs which was, however, less marked than when inflammatory neutrophils were used (34.7 (4.7) fold). The mean (SE) pressure developed on filtration of inflammatory neutrophils in vitro through a millipore filter (7.53 (0.2) cm H2O) was greater than that of peripheral blood neutrophils (1.18 (0.2) cm H2O). Increased filtration pressure indicates a decrease in cell deformability and suggests that this may be a contributory factor to the increased sequestration of inflammatory neutrophils in the pulmonary vasculature. CONCLUSIONS--This study shows that there is sequestration of neutrophils in the pulmonary vasculature in normal rat lungs which increases in acute lung inflammation and when inflammatory neutrophils are injected into control animals. In this model changes in the neutrophil, such as cell deformability, may have a more important role in inducing increased neutrophil sequestration than the inflammatory response in the lungs.
The increased production of nanomaterials has caused a corresponding increase in concern about human exposures in consumer and occupational settings. Studies in rodents have evaluated dose–response relationships following respiratory tract (RT) delivery of nanoparticles (NPs) in order to identify potential hazards. However, these studies often use bolus methods that deliver NPs at high dose rates that do not reflect real world exposures and do not measure the actual deposited dose of NPs. We hypothesize that the delivered dose rate is a key determinant of the inflammatory response in the RT when the deposited dose is constant.
F-344 rats were exposed to the same deposited doses of titanium dioxide (TiO2) NPs by single or repeated high dose rate intratracheal instillation or low dose rate whole body aerosol inhalation. Controls were exposed to saline or filtered air. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) neutrophils, biochemical parameters and inflammatory mediator release were quantified 4, 8, and 24 hr and 7 days after exposure.
Although the initial lung burdens of TiO2 were the same between the two methods, instillation resulted in greater short term retention than inhalation. There was a statistically significant increase in BALF neutrophils at 4, 8 and 24 hr after the single high dose TiO2 instillation compared to saline controls and to TiO2 inhalation, whereas TiO2 inhalation resulted in a modest, yet significant, increase in BALF neutrophils 24 hr after exposure. The acute inflammatory response following instillation was driven primarily by monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 and macrophage inflammatory protein-2, mainly within the lung. Increases in heme oxygenase-1 in the lung were also higher following instillation than inhalation. TiO2 inhalation resulted in few time dependent changes in the inflammatory mediator release. The single low dose and repeated exposure scenarios had similar BALF cellular and mediator response trends, although the responses for single exposures were more robust.
High dose rate NP delivery elicits significantly greater inflammation compared to low dose rate delivery. Although high dose rate methods can be used for quantitative ranking of NP hazards, these data caution against their use for quantitative risk assessment.
Dose rate; Nanoparticle; Titanium dioxide; Respiratory toxicology; Whole body inhalation; Intratracheal instillation; Acute inflammation; Bronchoalveolar lavage
Serine proteases in German cockroach (GC) have been shown to mediate allergic airway inflammation through the activation of protease activated receptor (PAR)-2. Neutrophils play an important role in regulating the innate immune response, and are recruited into the airways following GC frass exposure. As such, we investigated the role of PAR-2 in airway neutrophil recruitment, activation and cytokine production following allergen exposure.
Wild type and PAR-2-deficient mice were administered a single intratracheal instillation of PBS or GC frass and neutrophil recruitment, expression of PAR-2, CD80, CD86, and MHC class II were assessed by flow cytometry and levels of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)α was assessed by ELISA. Uptake of AlexaFluor 405-labeled GC frass by neutrophils was performed by flow cytometry.
Neutrophil recruitment in the lung and airways following GC frass exposure was significantly decreased in PAR-2-deficient mice compared to wild type mice. GC frass exposure increased the level of PAR-2 on pulmonary neutrophils and increased numbers of PAR-2-positive neutrophils were found in the lungs; however PAR-2 did not play a role in meditating allergen uptake. Comparing wild type and PAR-2-deficient mice, we found that a single exposure to GC frass increased levels of CD80 and CD86 on pulmonary neutrophils, an effect which was independent of PAR-2 expression. Neutrophils isolated from the whole lungs of naïve PAR-2-deficient mice treated ex vivo with GC frass produced significantly less TNFα than in similarly treated wild type neutrophils. Lastly, neutrophils were isolated from the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of wild type and PAR-2-deficient mice following a single intratracheal exposure to GC frass. Airway neutrophils from PAR-2-deficient mice released substantially decreased levels of TNFα, suggesting a role for PAR-2 in neutrophil-derived cytokine production.
Together these data suggest PAR-2 expression can be upregulated on lung neutrophils following allergen exposure and the consequence is altered release of TNFα which could drive the early innate immune response.
Mycoplasmas can cause interstitial pneumonias inducing critical illness in humans and animals. Mycoplasma infections are characterized by an influx of neutrophils, followed by an accumulation of macrophages and lymphocytes. The present study deals with the question of which mycoplasmal components cause this host reaction. The mycoplasma-derived, macrophage-activating lipopeptide 2S-MALP-2 was used to mimic the sequelae of a mycoplasma infection. To this end, 2S-MALP-2 was intratracheally instilled into the lungs of Lewis rats, and the bronchoalveolar lavage cells were examined at different times after different doses of 2S-MALP-2. Application of 2.5 μg induced a pronounced leukocyte accumulation in the bronchoalveolar space. At 24 h after 2S-MALP-2 administration, the majority of leukocytes consisted of neutrophils, followed by macrophages, peaking on days 2 and 3. Lymphocyte numbers, although amounting to only a few percent of the total bronchoalveolar lavage cells, also increased significantly, with maximal lymphocyte accumulation occurring by 72 h after instillation. The leukocyte count of the lung interstitium was increased on day 3 after treatment. After 10 days all investigated cell populations returned to control levels. Transient chemotactic activity for neutrophils was detected in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid early after 2S-MALP-2 application, followed by monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 activity (MCP-1) in lung homogenates. MCP-1 was produced by bronchoalveolar lavage cells upon stimulation with 2S-MALP-2. Our data indicate that mycoplasmal lipoproteins and lipopeptides are probably the most relevant mycoplasmal components for the early host reaction. The primary target cells are likely to be the alveolar macrophages liberating chemokines, which attract further leukocytes.
Nanomaterial of titanium dioxide (TiO2) is manufactured in large-scale production plants, resulting in risks for accidental high exposures of humans. Inhalation of metal oxide nanoparticles in high doses may lead to both acute and long-standing adverse effects. By using the Dark Agouti (DA) rat, a strain disposed to develop chronic inflammation following exposure to immunoactivating adjuvants, we investigated local and systemic inflammatory responses after lung exposure of nanosized TiO2 particles up to 90 days after intratracheal instillation. TiO2 induced a transient response of proinflammatory and T-cell-activating cytokines (interleukin [IL]-1α, IL-1β, IL-6, cytokine-induced neutrophil chemoattractant [CINC]-1, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor [GM-CSF], and IL-2) in airways 1-2 days after exposure, accompanied byaninfluxofeosinophilsand neutrophils. Neutrophil numbers remained elevated for 30 days, whereas the eosinophils declined to baseline levels at Day 8, simultaneously with an increase of dendritic cells and natural killer (NK) cells. The innate immune activation was followed by a lymphocyte expansion that persisted throughout the 90-day study. Lymphocytes recruited to the lungs were predominantly CD4+ helper T-cells, but we also demonstrated presence of CD8+T-cells, B-cells, and CD25+T-cells. In serum, we detected both an early cytokine expression at Days 1-2 (IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, CINC-1, IL-10, and interferon-gamma [IFN-γ] and a second response at Day 16 of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), indicating systemic late-phase effects in addition to the local response in airways. In summary, these data demonstrate a dynamic response to TiO2 nanoparticles in the lungs of DA rats, beginning with an innate immune activation of eosinophils, neutrophils, dendritic cells, and NK cells, followed by a long-lasting activation of lymphocytes involved in adaptive immunity. The results have implications for the assessment of risks for adverse and persistent immune stimulation following nanoparticle exposures in sensitive populations.
Nanoparticles; TiO2; lung; inflammation; NK cells; T-cells; dendritic cells
Nanotoxicological research has shown toxicity of nanomaterials to be inversely related to particle size. However, the contribution of agglomeration to the toxicity of nanomaterials has not been sufficiently studied, although it is known that agglomeration is associated with increased nanomaterial size. In this study, we prepared aerosols of nano-sized carbon black by 2 different ways to verify the effects of agglomeration on the toxicity and deposition of nano-sized carbon black. The 2 methods of preparation included the carbon black dispersion method that facilitated clustering without sonication and the carbon black dispersion method involving sonication to achieve scattering and deagglomeration. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to carbon black aerosols 6 hr a day for 3 days or for 2 weeks. The median mass aerodynamic diameter of carbon black aerosols averaged 2.08 μm (for aerosol prepared without sonication; group N) and 1.79 μm (for aerosol prepared without sonication; group S). The average concentration of carbon black during the exposure period for group N and group S was 13.08 ± 3.18 mg/m3 and 13.67 ± 3.54 mg/ m3, respectively, in the 3-day experiment. The average concentration during the 2-week experiment was 9.83 ± 3.42 mg/m3 and 9.08 ± 4.49 mg/m3 for group N and group S, respectively. The amount of carbon black deposition in the lungs was significantly higher in group S than in group N in both 3-day and 2-week experiments. The number of total cells, macrophages and polymorphonuclear leukocytes in the bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid, and the number of total white blood cells and neutrophils in the blood in the 2- week experiment were significantly higher in group S than in normal control. However, differences were not found in the inflammatory cytokine levels (IL-1β, TNF-α, IL-6, etc.) and protein indicators of cell damage (albumin and lactate dehydrogenase) in the BAL fluid of both group N and group S as compared to the normal control. In conclusion, carbon black aerosol generated by sonication possesses smaller nanoparticles that are deposited to a greater extent in the lungs than is aerosol formulated without sonication. Additionally, rats were narrowly more affected when exposed to carbon black aerosol generated by sonication as compared to that produced without sonication.
Carbon black; Nano; Deposition; Toxicity
Human exposure to nanoparticles (NPs) and environmental bacteria can occur simultaneously. NPs induce inflammatory responses and oxidative stress but may also have immune-suppressive effects, impairing macrophage function and altering epithelial barrier functions. The purpose of this study was to assess the potential pulmonary effects of inhalation and instillation exposure to copper (Cu) NPs using a model of lung inflammation and host defense.
We used Klebsiella pneumoniae (K.p.) in a murine lung infection model to determine if pulmonary bacterial clearance is enhanced or impaired by Cu NP exposure. Two different exposure modes were tested: sub-acute inhalation (4 hr/day, 5 d/week for 2 weeks, 3.5 mg/m3) and intratracheal instillation (24 hr post-exposure, 3, 35, and 100 μg/mouse). Pulmonary responses were evaluated by lung histopathology plus measurement of differential cell counts, total protein, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity, and inflammatory cytokines in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid.
Cu NP exposure induced inflammatory responses with increased recruitment of total cells and neutrophils to the lungs as well as increased total protein and LDH activity in BAL fluid. Both inhalation and instillation exposure to Cu NPs significantly decreased the pulmonary clearance of K.p.-exposed mice measured 24 hr after bacterial infection following Cu NP exposure versus sham-exposed mice also challenged with K.p (1.4 × 105 bacteria/mouse).
Cu NP exposure impaired host defense against bacterial lung infections and induced a dose-dependent decrease in bacterial clearance in which even our lowest dose demonstrated significantly lower clearance than observed in sham-exposed mice. Thus, exposure to Cu NPs may increase the risk of pulmonary infection.
Copper; nanoparticles; inhalation; instillation; bacterial clearance; murine; pulmonary infection; Klebsiella pneumoniae
Particulate air pollution is associated with cardiovascular disease. Acute phase response is causally linked to cardiovascular disease. Here, we propose that particle-induced pulmonary acute phase response provides an underlying mechanism for particle-induced cardiovascular risk.
We analysed the mRNA expression of Serum Amyloid A (Saa3) in lung tissue from female C57BL/6J mice exposed to different particles including nanomaterials (carbon black and titanium dioxide nanoparticles, multi- and single walled carbon nanotubes), diesel exhaust particles and airborne dust collected at a biofuel plant. Mice were exposed to single or multiple doses of particles by inhalation or intratracheal instillation and pulmonary mRNA expression of Saa3 was determined at different time points of up to 4 weeks after exposure. Also hepatic mRNA expression of Saa3, SAA3 protein levels in broncheoalveolar lavage fluid and in plasma and high density lipoprotein levels in plasma were determined in mice exposed to multiwalled carbon nanotubes.
Pulmonary exposure to particles strongly increased Saa3 mRNA levels in lung tissue and elevated SAA3 protein levels in broncheoalveolar lavage fluid and plasma, whereas hepatic Saa3 levels were much less affected. Pulmonary Saa3 expression correlated with the number of neutrophils in BAL across different dosing regimens, doses and time points.
Pulmonary acute phase response may constitute a direct link between particle inhalation and risk of cardiovascular disease. We propose that the particle-induced pulmonary acute phase response may predict risk for cardiovascular disease.
Pulmonary inflammation is a major contributor to morbidity in a variety of respiratory disorders, but treatment options are limited. Here we investigate the efficacy, safety and mechanism of action of low dose inhaled carbon monoxide (CO) using a mouse model of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced pulmonary inflammation.
Mice were exposed to 0–500 ppm inhaled CO for periods of up to 24 hours prior to and following intratracheal instillation of 10 ng LPS. Animals were sacrificed and assessed for intraalveolar neutrophil influx and cytokine levels, flow cytometric determination of neutrophil number and activation in blood, lung and lavage fluid samples, or neutrophil mobilisation from bone marrow.
When administered for 24 hours both before and after LPS, inhaled CO of 100 ppm or more reduced intraalveolar neutrophil infiltration by 40–50%, although doses above 100 ppm were associated with either high carboxyhemoglobin, weight loss or reduced physical activity. This anti-inflammatory effect of CO did not require pre-exposure before induction of injury. 100 ppm CO exposure attenuated neutrophil sequestration within the pulmonary vasculature as well as LPS-induced neutrophilia at 6 hours after LPS, likely due to abrogation of neutrophil mobilisation from bone marrow. In contrast to such apparently beneficial effects, 100 ppm inhaled CO induced an increase in pulmonary barrier permeability as determined by lavage fluid protein content and translocation of labelled albumin from blood to the alveolar space.
Overall, these data confirm some protective role for inhaled CO during pulmonary inflammation, although this required a dose that produced carboxyhemoglobin values close to potentially toxic levels for humans, and increased lung permeability.
The alveolar macrophage (AM) - first line of innate immune defence against pathogens and environmental irritants - constitutively expresses peroxisome-proliferator activated receptor γ (PPARγ). PPARγ ligand-induced activation keeps the AM quiescent, and thereby contributes to combat invaders and resolve inflammation by augmenting the phagocytosis of apoptotic neutrophils and inhibiting an excessive expression of inflammatory genes. Because of these presumed anti-inflammatory functions of PPARγ we tested the hypothesis, whether reduced functional receptor availability in mutant mice resulted in increased cellular and molecular inflammatory response during acute inflammation and/or in an impairment of its resolution.
To address this hypothesis we examined the effects of a carbon-nanoparticle (CNP) lung challenge, as surrogate for non-infectious environmental irritants, in a murine model carrying a dominant-negative point mutation in the ligand-binding domain of PPARγ (P465L/wt). Animals were instilled intratracheally with Printex 90 CNPs and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) was gained 24 h or 72 h after instillation to investigate its cellular and protein composition.
Higher BAL cell numbers - due to higher macrophage counts - were found in mutants irrespective of treatment. Neutrophil numbers in contrast were slightly lower in mutants. Intratracheal CNP instillation resulted in a profound recruitment of inflammatory neutrophils into the alveolus, but genotype related differences at acute inflammation (24 h) and resolution (72 h) were not observed. There were no signs for increased alveolar-capillary membrane damage or necrotic cell death in mutants as determined by BAL protein and lactate-dehydrogenase content. Pro-inflammatory macrophage-derived cytokine osteopontin was higher, but galectin-3 lower in female mutants. CXCL5 and lipocalin-2 markers, attributed to epithelial cell stimulation did not differ.
Despite general genotype-related differences, we had to reject our hypothesis of an increased CNP induced lung inflammation and an impairment of its resolution in PPARγ defective mice. Although earlier studies showed ligand-induced activation of nuclear receptor PPARγ to promote resolution of lung inflammation, its reduced activity did not provide signs of resolution impairment in the settings investigated here.
peroxisome-proliverator activated receptor γ; carbon-nano particle; pulmonary inflammation; chronic lung disease; challenge; immune cell; broncho-alveolar lavage (BAL); inflammatory marker
The aim of this study was to evaluate the acute lung toxicity in rats of intratracheally instilled TiO2 particles that have been substantially encapsulated with pyrogenically deposited, amorphous silica. Groups of rats were intratracheally instilled either with doses of 1 or 5 mg/kg of hydrophilic Pigment A TiO2 particles or doses of 1 or 5 mg/kg of the following control or particle-types: 1) R-100 TiO2 particles (hydrophilic in nature); 2) quartz particles, 3) carbonyl iron particles. Phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) instilled rats served as additional controls. Following exposures, the lungs of PBS and particle-exposed rats were evaluated for bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid inflammatory markers, cell proliferation, and by histopathology at post-instillation time points of 24 hrs, 1 week, 1 month and 3 months.
The bronchoalveolar lavage results demonstrated that lung exposures to quartz particles, at both concentrations but particularly at the higher dose, produced significant increases vs. controls in pulmonary inflammation and cytotoxicity indices. Exposures to Pigment A or R-100 TiO2 particles produced transient inflammatory and cell injury effects at 24 hours postexposure (pe), but these effects were not sustained when compared to quartz-related effects. Exposures to carbonyl iron particles or PBS resulted only in minor, short-term and reversible lung inflammation, likely related to the effects of the instillation procedure.
Histopathological analyses of lung tissues revealed that pulmonary exposures to Pigment A TiO2 particles produced minor inflammation at 24 hours postexposure and these effects were not significantly different from exposures to R-100 or carbonyl iron particles. Pigment A-exposed lung tissue sections appeared normal at 1 and 3 months postexposure. In contrast, pulmonary exposures to quartz particles in rats produced a dose-dependent lung inflammatory response characterized by neutrophils and foamy (lipid-containing) alveolar macrophage accumulation as well as evidence of early lung tissue thickening consistent with the development of pulmonary fibrosis.
Based on our results, we conclude the following: 1) Pulmonary instillation exposures to Pigment A TiO2 particles at 5 mg/kg produced a transient lung inflammatory response which was not different from the lung response to R-100 TiO2 particles or carbonyl iron particles; 2) the response to Pigment A was substantially less active in terms of inflammation, cytotoxicity, and fibrogenic effects than the positive control particle-type, quartz particles. Thus, based on the findings of this study, we would expect that inhaled Pigment A TiO2 particles would have a low risk potential for producing adverse pulmonary health effects.
The toxic and inflammatory potential of 5 different types of nanoparticles were studied in a sensitive model for pulmonary effects in apolipoprotein E knockout mice (ApoE-/-). We studied the effects instillation or inhalation Printex 90 of carbon black (CB) and compared CB instillation in ApoE-/- and C57 mice. Three and 24 h after pulmonary exposure, inflammation was assessed by mRNA levels of cytokines in lung tissue, cell composition, genotoxicity, protein and lactate dehydrogenase activity in broncho-alveolar lavage (BAL) fluid.
Firstly, we found that intratracheal instillation of CB caused far more pulmonary toxicity in ApoE-/- mice than in C57 mice. Secondly, we showed that instillation of CB was more toxic than inhalation of a presumed similar dose with respect to inflammation in the lungs of ApoE-/- mice. Thirdly, we compared effects of instillation in ApoE-/- mice of three carbonaceous particles; CB, fullerenes C60 (C60) and single walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNT) as well as gold particles and quantum dots (QDs). Characterization of the instillation media revealed that all particles were delivered as agglomerates and aggregates. Significant increases in Il-6, Mip-2 and Mcp-1 mRNA were detected in lung tissue, 3 h and 24 h following instillation of SWCNT, CB and QDs. DNA damage in BAL cells, the fraction of neutrophils in BAL cells and protein in BAL fluid increased statistically significantly. Gold and C60 particles caused much weaker inflammatory responses.
Our data suggest that ApoE-/- model is sensitive for evaluating particle induced inflammation. Overall QDs had greatest effects followed by CB and SWCNT with C60 and gold being least inflammatory and DNA-damaging. However the gold was used at a much lower mass dose than the other particles. The strong effects of QDs were likely due to Cd release. The surface area of the instilled dose correlated well the inflammatory response for low toxicity particles.
Aluminum oxide-based nanowhiskers (AO nanowhiskers) have been used in manufacturing processes as catalyst supports, flame retardants, adsorbents, or in ceramic, metal and plastic composite materials. They are classified as high aspect ratio nanomaterials. Our aim was to assess in vivo toxicity of inhaled AO nanowhisker aerosols.
Primary dimensions of AO nanowhiskers specified by manufacturer were 2–4 nm x 2800 nm. The aluminum content found in this nanomaterial was 30% [mixed phase material containing Al(OH)3 and AlOOH]. Male mice (C57Bl/6 J) were exposed to AO nanowhiskers for 4 hrs/day, 5 days/wk for 2 or 4 wks in a dynamic whole body exposure chamber. The whiskers were aerosolized with an acoustical dry aerosol generator that included a grounded metal elutriator and a venturi aspirator to enhance deagglomeration. Average concentration of aerosol in the chamber was 3.3 ± 0.6 mg/m3 and the mobility diameter was 150 ± 1.6 nm. Both groups of mice (2 or 4 wks exposure) were necropsied immediately after the last exposure. Aluminum content in the lung, heart, liver, and spleen was determined. Pulmonary toxicity assessment was performed by evaluation of bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid (enumeration of total and differential cells, total protein, activity of lactate dehydrogenase [LDH] and cytokines), blood (total and differential cell counts), lung histopathology and pulmonary mechanics.
Following exposure, mean Al content of lungs was 0.25, 8.10 and 15.37 μg/g lung (dry wt) respectively for sham, 2 wk and 4 wk exposure groups. The number of total cells and macrophages in BAL fluid was 2-times higher in animals exposed for 2 wks and 6-times higher in mice exposed for 4 wks, compared to shams (p < 0.01, p < 0.001, respectively). However no neutrophilic inflammation in BAL fluid was found and neutrophils were below 1% in all groups. No significant differences were found in total protein, activity of LDH, or cytokines levels (IL-6, IFN-γ, MIP-1α, TNF-α, and MIP-2) between shams and exposed mice.
Sub-chronic inhalation exposures to aluminum-oxide based nanowhiskers induced increased lung macrophages, but no inflammatory or toxic responses were observed.
Aluminum; Nanowhiskers; High aspect ratio nanomaterial; Inhalation; Murine model; Pulmonary response; Toxicity
Nanoparticulate barium sulfate has potential novel applications and wide use in the polymer and paint industries. A short-term inhalation study on barium sulfate nanoparticles (BaSO4 NPs) was previously published [Part Fibre Toxicol 11:16, 2014]. We performed comprehensive biokinetic studies of 131BaSO4 NPs administered via different routes and of acute and subchronic pulmonary responses to instilled or inhaled BaSO4 in rats.
We compared the tissue distribution of 131Ba over 28 days after intratracheal (IT) instillation, and over 7 days after gavage and intravenous (IV) injection of 131BaSO4. Rats were exposed to 50 mg/m3 BaSO4 aerosol for 4 or 13 weeks (6 h/day, 5 consecutive days/week), and then gross and histopathologic, blood and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid analyses were performed. BAL fluid from instilled rats was also analyzed.
Inhaled BaSO4 NPs showed no toxicity after 4-week exposure, but a slight neutrophil increase in BAL after 13-week exposure was observed. Lung burden of inhaled BaSO4 NPs after 4-week exposure (0.84 ± 0.18 mg/lung) decreased by 95% over 34 days. Instilled BaSO4 NPs caused dose-dependent inflammatory responses in the lungs. Instilled BaSO4 NPs (0.28 mg/lung) was cleared with a half-life of ≈ 9.6 days. Translocated 131Ba from the lungs was predominantly found in the bone (29%). Only 0.15% of gavaged dose was detected in all organs at 7 days. IV-injected 131BaSO4 NPs were predominantly localized in the liver, spleen, lungs and bone at 2 hours, but redistributed from the liver to bone over time. Fecal excretion was the dominant elimination pathway for all three routes of exposure.
Pulmonary exposure to instilled BaSO4 NPs caused dose-dependent lung injury and inflammation. Four-week and 13-week inhalation exposures to a high concentration (50 mg/m3) of BaSO4 NPs elicited minimal pulmonary response and no systemic effects. Instilled and inhaled BaSO4 NPs were cleared quickly yet resulted in higher tissue retention than when ingested. Particle dissolution is a likely mechanism. Injected BaSO4 NPs localized in the reticuloendothelial organs and redistributed to the bone over time. BaSO4 NP exhibited lower toxicity and biopersistence in the lungs compared to other poorly soluble NPs such as CeO2 and TiO2.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12989-014-0055-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Lung absorption; Bioavailability; Particokinetics; Particle dissolution; Translocation; Inhalation
Pulmonary inflammation, especially persistent inflammation, has been found to play a key role in respiratory disorders induced by nanoparticles in animal models. In inhalation studies and instillation studies of nanomaterials, persistent inflammation is composed of neutrophils and alveolar macrophages, and its pathogenesis is related to chemokines such as the cytokine-induced neutrophil chemoattractant (CINC) family and macrophage inflammatory protein-1α and oxidant stress-related genes such as heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1). DNA damages occur chemically or physically by nanomaterials. Chemical and physical damage are associated with point mutation by free radicals and double strand brake, respectively. The failure of DNA repair and accumulation of mutations might occur when inflammation is prolonged, and finally normal cells could become malignant. These free radicals can not only damage cells but also induce signaling molecules containing immunoreaction. Nanoparticles and asbestos also induce the production of free radicals. In allergic responses, nanoparticles act as Th2 adjuvants to activate Th2 immune responses such as activation of eosinophil and induction of IgE. Taken together, the presence of persistent inflammation may contribute to the pathogenesis of a variety of diseases induced by nanomaterials.
Alcohol abuse increases the risk for acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Efferocytosis, the clearance of apoptotic cells, is important in the resolution of inflammation and is regulated by RhoA and rho kinase (ROCK) activation. The effects of alcohol on pulmonary Rho pathway activation and efferocytosis have not been determined. We hypothesize that acute and chronic alcohol exposure impair pulmonary efferocytosis, leading to heightened inflammation during ARDS.
For in vivo experiments, C57BL/6 mice received either a single, intraperitoneal injection of alcohol or chronic ethanol-in-water for 8 weeks prior to intratracheal instillation of apoptotic cells or lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) was performed for cells counts, calculation of the phagocytic index (PI), and Rho activity measurements. For in vitro studies, primary alveolar macrophages were cultured in alcohol (25-100mM) and then co-cultured with apoptotic cells. RhoA activity was determined following alcohol exposure, and the PI was determined before and after treatment with the ROCK inhibitor, Y27632.
Acute alcohol exposure was associated with impaired efferocytosis. Following LPS exposure, acute alcohol exposure was also associated with increased BAL neutrophils. Chronic alcohol exposure alone did not alter efferocytosis. However, following exposure to LPS, chronic alcohol exposure was associated with both impaired efferocytosis and increased BAL neutrophils. In vitro alcohol exposure caused a dose-dependent decrease in efferocytosis. Despite the fact that RhoA activity was decreased by alcohol exposure and RhoA inhibition did not alter the effects of alcohol on efferocytosis, treatment with the Rho kinase inhibitor, Y27632, reversed the effects of alcohol on efferocytosis.
Acute alcohol exposure impairs pulmonary efferocytosis, while exposure to chronic alcohol is only associated with impaired efferocytosis following LPS-induced lung injury. Both forms of alcohol exposure are associated with increased alveolar neutrophil numbers in response to LPS. The acute effects of alcohol on efferocytosis appear to be mediated, at least in part, by RhoA-independent activation of ROCK. Further studies are needed to dissect the differences between the effects of acute and chronic alcohol exposure on efferocytosis and to determine the effects of alcohol on alternative activators of ROCK.
Alcohol; ARDS; Efferocytosis; RhoA; Rho kinase
Epidemiologic studies have reported associations between fine particulate air pollution, especially particles less than 10 mm in diameter (PM10), and the development of exacerbations of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. However, the mechanism is unknown. We tested our hypothesis that PM10 induces oxidant stress, causing inflammation and injury to airway epithelium. We assessed the effects of intratracheal instillation of PM10 in rat lungs. The influx of inflammatory cells was measured in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL). Airspace epithelial permeability was assessed as total protein in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) in vivo. The oxidant properties of PM10 were determined by their ability to cause changes in reduced glutathione (GSH) and oxidized glutathione (GSSG). We also compared the effects of PM10 with those of fine (CB) and ultrafine (ufCB) carbon black particles. Six hours after intratracheal instillation of PM10, we noted an influx of neutrophils (up to 15% of total BAL cells) in the alveolar space, increased epithelial permeability, an increase in total protein in BALF from 0.39 +/- 0.01 to 0.62 +/- 0.01 mg/ml (mean +/- SEM) and increased lactate dehydrogenase concentrations in BALF. An even greater inflammatory response was observed after intratracheal instillation of ufCB, but not after CB instillation. PM10 had oxidant activity in vivo, as shown by decreased GSH in BALF (from 0.36 +/- 0.05 to 0.25 +/- 0.01 nmol/ml) after instillation. BAL leukocytes from rats treated with PM10 produced greater amounts of nitric oxide, measured as nitrite (control 3.07 +/- 0.33, treated 4.45 +/- 0.23 mM/1 x 10(6) cells) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (control 21.0 +/- 3.1, treated 179.2 +/- 29.4 unit/1 x 10(6) cells) in culture than BAL leukocytes obtained from control animals. These studies provide evidence that PM10 has free radical activity and causes lung inflammation and epithelial injury. These data support our hypothesis concerning the mechanism for the adverse effects of particulate air pollution on patients with airway diseases.
The Kuwaiti oil wells set on fire by retreating Iraqi troops at the end of the Persian Gulf War released complex particles, inorganic and organic gases, and hydrocarbons into the atmosphere, damaging the environment where many people live and work. In this study, we assessed the health effects of particles from the Kuwaiti oil fires by instilling hamsters intratracheally with particles (<3.5 microM in size) collected in Ahmadi, a residential area in Kuwait located downwind of hundreds of oil fires. Twenty-four hours after instillation, we performed bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) to assess various indicators of pulmonary inflammation, including neutrophil and macrophage numbers; albumin, an index of air-blood barrier permeability; and activities of three enzymes: lactate dehydrogenase (LDH; an indicator of cell injury), myeloperoxidase (MPO; which indicates activation of neutrophils), and ss-N-acetylglucosaminidase (GLN; which is indicative of damage to macrophages or neutrophils). We compared the response of hamsters instilled with particles from Ahmadi to animals instilled with urban particles collected in St. Louis, Missouri. We also compared the Ahmadi particles against a highly fibrogenic positive control ([alpha]-quartz) and a relatively nontoxic negative control (iron oxide). When compared to hamsters instilled with particles from St. Louis, the animals treated with the Ahmadi particles had between 1.4- and 2.2-fold more neutrophils in their BAL fluids. The Ahmadi hamsters had more macrophages and lower MPO and LDH activities, but comparable albumin levels and GLN activities. Thus, the acute toxicity of the Ahmadi particles was roughly similar to that of urban particles collected in the United States, when identical masses were compared. However, the relatively higher concentrations of particles measured in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia during the oil fires (at times more than 16 times higher than the EPA standard) is of particular concern. In addition, since the long-term effects of exposure to these particles remains unknown, further studies are needed to fully assess the health effects of the Kuwaiti oil fires.
Infiltration of polymorphonuclear neutrophils into the lung is an important feature of ventilator-induced lung injury associated with pneumonia, but the mechanisms involved in neutrophil recruitment are poorly understood. Using Toll-like receptor 4 knockout (tl4r−/−) mice, we addressed the role of Toll-like receptor 4 signaling in mediating neutrophil recruitment and lung injury induced by lipopolysaccharide challenge coupled to lung hyperinflation.
Experimental animal model.
tlr4−/− and wild-type C57BL/6 mice.
Wild type or tlr4−/− mice were challenged by intratracheal instillation of lipopolysaccharide (0.3 mg/kg) for 2 h and then subjected to normal (7 ml/kg) or high (28 ml/kg) tidal volume ventilation for another 2 h. In other studies, neutrophils from wild type or tlr4−/− mice were pretreated with lipopolysaccharide for 30 min and then infused into the isolated lung preparation for 30 min while the lungs were ventilated with 25 cmH2O peak inspiratory pressure.
Measurements and Main Results
Lipopolysaccharide-challenged wild type mice ventilated with a 28 ml/kg tidal volume exhibited 12-fold increase in neutrophil sequestration, 18-fold increase in bronchoalveolar lavage neutrophil count, 6-fold increase in bronchoalveolar lavage albumin concentration, and 1.6-fold increase in lung water content compared to unchallenged mice exposed to normal tidal volume ventilation. However, tlr4−/− mice showed negligible neutrophil sequestration, microvascular barrier breakdown, or edema formation. Mechanical ventilation alone or combined with lipopolysaccharide caused activation of circulating neutrophils and pulmonary endothelium in wild type mice whereas this was prevented in tlr4−/− mice.
High tidal volume ventilation during pneumonia/sepsis induces lung neutrophil sequestration and injury via the Toll-like receptor 4-dependent signaling pathway. The results suggest an important role of Toll-like receptor 4 in the mechanism of lung neutrophil sequestration and acute lung injury when pneumonia/sepsis is coupled to lung hyperinflation.
inflammation; Toll-like receptor 4; lipopolysaccharide; ventilator; neutrophils; lung injury
The aim of the present study was to assess possible health effects of airway exposures to Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) based biopesticides in mice. Endpoints were lung inflammation evaluated by presence of inflammatory cells in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF), clearance of bacteria from the lung lumen and histological alterations of the lungs. Hazard identifications of the biopesticides were carried out using intratracheal (i.t.) instillation, followed by an inhalation study. The two commercial biopesticides used were based on the Bt. subspecies kurstaki and israelensis, respectively. Groups of BALB/c mice were i.t instilled with one bolus (3.5 × 105 or 3.4 × 106 colony forming units (CFU) per mouse) of either biopesticide. Control mice were instilled with sterile water. BALFs were collected and the inflammatory cells were counted and differentiated. The BALFs were also subjected to CFU counts.
BALF cytology showed an acute inflammatory response dominated by neutrophils 24 hours after instillation of biopesticide. Four days after instillation, the neutrophil number was normalised and inflammation was dominated by lymphocytes and eosinophils, whereas 70 days after instillation, the inflammation was interstitially located with few inflammatory cells present in the lung lumen.
Half of the instilled mice had remaining CFU recovered from BALF 70 days after exposure. To gain further knowledge with relevance for risk assessment, mice were exposed to aerosols of biopesticide one hour per day for 2 × 5 days. Each mouse received 1.9 × 104 CFU Bt israelensis or 2.3 × 103 CFU Bt kurstaki per exposure. Seventy days after end of the aerosol exposures, 3 out of 17 mice had interstitial lung inflammation. CFU could be recovered from 1 out of 10 mice 70 days after exposure to aerosolised Bt kurstaki. Plethysmography showed that inhalation of Bt aerosol did not induce airway irritation.
Repeated low dose aerosol exposures to commercial Bt based biopesticides can induce sub-chronic lung inflammation in mice, which may be the first step in the development of chronic lung diseases. Inhalation of Bt aerosols does not induce airway irritation, which could explain why workers may be less inclined to use a filter mask during the application process, and are thereby less protected from exposure to Bt spores.
OBJECTIVES: It was hypothesised from an epidemiological investigation that a formula change from Acramin FWR (a polyurea) to Acramin FWN (a polyamide-amine) had led to severe pulmonary disease in textile printing sprayers in SPAIN AND ALGERIA. To verify this, the pulmonary toxicity of the components of the paint systems involved was assessed in experimental animals. METHODS: Individual components and relevant mixtures, diluted in phosphate buttered saline, were given by intratracheal instillation of 2 ml/kg to hamsters. Pulmonary toxicity was assessed on days 3, 7, 14, 28, and 92 after a single intratracheal instillation, by histology and by measuring wet and dry lung weight, protein concentration, the activities of lactate dehydrogenase, alkaline phosphatase, beta-N-acetyl-glucosaminidase, and gamma-glutamyltransferase, inflammatory cell number and distribution in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF), and hydroxyproline content in dried lung tissue. RESULTS: Based on the doses that killed 50% of the animals (LD50s), the various components were found to be 10 to 1250 times more toxic when given intratracheally than when given orally (according to reported oral LD50s in rats). Acramin FWN, Acramin FWR, Acrafix FHN, or their mixtures caused lung damage. Protein concentration, enzyme activities, total cell number, and percentage of polymorphonuclear neutrophils were increased in BALF during the first week after intratracheal instillation. Lung weights remained high for at least a month. Histology showed inflammatory cell infiltration and subsequent fibrosis with collagen deposition. This finding was confirmed by an increased hydroxyproline content in dried lung tissue. Acramoll W did not show toxic effects. CONCLUSIONS: The study suggests that there is no major difference, in hamsters, between the acute intratracheal toxicity of Acramin FWR and that of Acramin FWN. Consequently, there is no simple toxicological explanation for the epidemiological hypothesis. However, the pulmonary toxicity of these non-irritant polymeric compounds is surprisingly high. The Ardystil disaster and these results should serve as a strong warning that conventional toxicity testing of chemicals does not necessarily protect workers against respiratory toxicity.
Clearance of apoptotic neutrophils in the lung is an essential process to limit inflammation, since they could become a pro-inflammatory stimulus themselves. The clearance is partially mediated by alveolar macrophages, which phagocytose these apoptotic cells. The phagocytosis of apoptotic immune cells by monocytes in vitro has been shown to be augmented by several constituents of pulmonary surfactant, e.g. phospholipids and hydrophobic surfactant proteins. In this study, we assessed the influence of exogenous poractant alfa (Curosurf®) instillation on the in vivo phagocytosis of apoptotic neutrophils by alveolar macrophages.
Poractant alfa (200 mg/kg) was instilled intratracheally in the lungs of three months old adult male C57/Black 6 mice, followed by apoptotic neutrophil instillation. Bronchoalveloar lavage was performed and alveolar macrophages and neutrophils were counted. Phagocytosis of apoptotic neutrophils was quantified by determining the number of apoptotic neutrophils per alveolar macrophages.
Exogenous surfactant increased the number of alveolar macrophages engulfing apoptotic neutrophils 2.6 fold. The phagocytosis of apoptotic neutrophils was increased in the presence of exogenous surfactant by a 4.7 fold increase in phagocytosed apoptotic neutrophils per alveolar macrophage.
We conclude that the anti-inflammatory properties of surfactant therapy may be mediated in part by increased numbers of alveolar macrophages and increased phagocytosis of apoptotic neutrophils by alveolar macrophages.
Inflammation; Resolution; Anti inflammation; Drug therapy; Surfactant
Pulmonary LPS exposure plays a key role in exacerbation of lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma. However, little is known about the effects of repeated LPS exposure in the lung microenvironment. We have developed a novel murine model of pulmonary LPS tolerance induced by intratracheal (i.t.) administration of LPS. First, we show that pulmonary LPS exposure does not induce whole-body refractoriness to systemic LPS, because i.t. administration followed by i.p. administration did not decrease plasma TNF-α. However, a local refractory state can be induced with two i.t. LPS exposures. Pulmonary LPS tolerance was induced by i.t. administration of 100 ng LPS at time 0 and 48 h. Nontolerant mice received PBS at time 0 and LPS at 48 h. Bronchoalveolar lavage levels of TNF-α were significantly attenuated in tolerant mice vs nontolerant mice (1597 pg/ml vs 7261 pg/ml). TNF-α mRNA was significantly reduced in bronchoalveolar lavage cells (5-fold) and lung tissue (10-fold). No reduction was seen in neutrophil numbers in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, myeloperoxidase activity, or expression of neutrophil chemoattractants CXCL1 and CXCL2, reflecting the specificity of the response. The reduction in TNF-α was accompanied by a significant increase in soluble receptors, TNF-SRI (159 pg/ml vs 206 pg/ml) and TNF-SRII (1366 pg/m vs 2695 pg/ml). In conclusion, pulmonary LPS tolerance results in a specific reduction in TNF-α expression, while the neutrophilic response is unaffected. This response may be a mechanism to limit tissue damage by reducing TNF-α levels, while still maintaining the antimicrobial capacity of the lung.
BACKGROUND: Epidemiological evidence has implicated fine particulate air pollution, particularly particles less than 10 microns in diameter (PM10), in the development of exacerbations of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) although the mechanism is unknown. The hypothesis that PM10 particles induce oxidant stress, causing inflammation and injury to airway epithelium, was tested. METHODS: The effects of intratracheal instillation of PM10 was assessed in rat lungs (three per group). Inflammatory cell influx was measured by bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and air space epithelial permeability was assessed as the total protein in BAL fluid in vivo. The oxidant properties of PM10 particles were determined by their ability to cause damage to plasmid DNA and by changes in reduced (GSH) and oxidised (GSSG) glutathione. The effects of PM10 particles were compared in some experiments with those of fine (CB) and ultrafine (ufCB) carbon black particles. RESULTS: Six hours after intratracheal instillation of PM10 there was an influx of neutrophils (up to 15% of total cells in BAL fluid) into the alveolar space, increased epithelial permeability, the mean (SE) total protein in the BAL fluid increasing from 0.39 (0.01) to 0.62 (0.01) mg/ml, and increased lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) concentrations in the BAL fluid. An even greater inflammatory response was seen following intratracheal instillation of ufCB but not following CB instillation. PM10 particles had free radical activity in vivo, as shown by a decrease in GSH levels in the BAL fluid from 0.36 (0.05) to 0.25 (0.01) nmol/ml following instillation. The free radical activity of PM10 was confirmed in vitro by its ability to deplete supercoiled plasmid DNA, an effect which could be reversed by mannitol, a specific hydroxyl radical scavenger. BAL fluid leucocytes from rats treated with PM10 produced greater amounts of nitric oxide (NO), measured as nitrite (control 3.07 (0.33), treated 4.45 (0.23) microM/1 x 10(6) cells), and tumour necrosis factor alpha (control 21.0 (3.1), treated 179.2 (29.4) units/l x 10(6) cells) in culture than those obtained from control animals. Since the PM10 preparation was contaminated with small amounts of filter fibres due to the extraction process, the effects of instillation of filter fibres alone was assessed. These studies showed that filter fibres did not account for the proinflammatory and injurious effects of the PM10 suspension. CONCLUSIONS: These findings provide evidence that PM10 has free radical activity and causes lung inflammation and epithelial injury. These data support the proposed hypothesis for the mechanism by which particulate air pollution causes adverse effects in patients with airways diseases.