Fritz Krombach

Inhalation of rigid multi-wall carbon nanotubes induces allergic asthma-like symptoms in mice

The overall goal of WP8 is to identify the key physicochemical properties and surface modifications of engineered nanomaterials (ENM) that control their fate and biological and toxic effects in cells and tissues from susceptible individuals. For this goal, WP8 partners will use in vivo murine cardiovascular disease and asthma models as well as in vitro cultured human and murine endothelial cells or a 3D airway model with cells from healthy or diseased human donors.

Finnish Institute of Occupational Health conducted a preliminary study in which pulmonary effects of inhaled rigid and tangled multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) were investigated in healthy mice using two differently shaped materials. Results showed that after 4-day exposure, rod-like MWCNT, but not tangled MWCNT, induced eosinophilia and increased mucus production in lungs which was supported by elevated expression of pro-allergic cytokines such as IL-13 and IL-5. Exploration of the early events by transcriptomics analysis revealed that a 4-h exposure to rod-like MWCNT caused drastic up-regulation of genes involved in innate immunity and cyto¬kine/che¬mo¬kine pathways. These data indicate that inhalation of certain types of ENM is able to induce an allergic airway inflammation-like reaction.

The knowledge gained from this study will lead way in exploring effects of ENM on pre-existing allergic airway inflammation for which the murine allergen-induced asthma model will be used.