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Maturation and demise of human primary monocytes by carbon nanotubes
Link to Journal Abstract
The possibility of exploiting carbon nanotubes (CNT) in biomedical practices requires thorough analysis of the chemical or bulk effects they may exert on the immune system, the complex network that recognizes and eliminates foreign particles. In particular, the phagocytosing ability of cells belonging to the monocyte/macrophage lineage may render these immune cells an ideal toxicological target of pristine CNT, which may form aggregates of size exceeding monocyte/macrophage phagocytosing plasticity. To shed light on this issue, we analyzed the effects that pristine multi-walled CNT (MWCNT) without metal or biological impurities exert on survival and activation of freshly explanted human peripheral blood monocytes, analyzing in parallel the non-phagocytosing lymphocytes, and using graphite as control carbon material. MWCNT (diameter 10–50 nm, length up to 10 ìm) exert two different toxic effects on mononuclear leukocytes: a minor apoptogenic effect (on lymphocytes > monocytes), and a major, apoptosis-independent effect that exclusively and deeply affect monocyte homeostasis. Analysis of monocyte number, adhesion, redox equilibrium, and the differentiation markers CD14 and CD11b reveals that MWCNT cause the selective disappearance of phagocytosis-competent monocytes by mechanisms related to the presence of large nanoparticle aggregates, suggesting phenomena of bulk toxicity possibly consisting of frustrated phagocytosis. At the same time, MWCNT stimulate adhesion of the phagocytosis-incompetent monocytes, and their differentiation toward a peculiar maturation asset. These observations point out novel mechanisms of CNT toxicity, renewing concerns that they may impair the innate immune system deranging the inflammatory responses.
For this study, the authors analyzed the effects that pristine multi-walled carbon nantubes (MWCNT) without metal or biological impurities exert on survival and activation of freshly explanted human peripheral blood monocytes, analyzing in parallel the non-phagocytosing lymphocytes, and using graphite as control carbon material.
Peer Reviewed Journal Article
Exposure Or Hazard Target
Method Of Study
Risk Exposure Group
Journal of Nanoparticle Research, 2013, 15(6): 1711
Journal of Nanoparticle Research
De Nicola M, Gattia DM, Traversa E, Ghibelli L
Last updated on July 1, 2013
This work is supported in part by the Nanoscale Science and Engineering Initiative of the National Science Foundation
under NSF Award Number EEC-0118007.
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