Toxicologic pathology

Inhaled multiwalled carbon nanotubes modulate the immune response of trimellitic anhydride-induced chemical respiratory allergy in brown Norway rats.

PMID 24705883


The interaction between exposure to nanomaterials and existing inflammatory conditions has not been fully established. Multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT; Nanocyl NC 7000 CAS no. 7782-42-5; count median diameter in atmosphere 61 ± 5 nm) were tested by inhalation in high Immunoglobulin E (IgE)-responding Brown Norway (BN) rats with trimellitic anhydride (TMA)-induced respiratory allergy. The rats were exposed 2 days/week over a 3.5-week period to a low (11 mg/m(3)) or a high (22 mg/m(3)) concentration of MWCNT. Nonallergic animals exposed to MWCNT and unexposed allergic and nonallergic rats served as controls. At the end of the exposure period, the allergic animals were rechallenged with TMA. Histopathological examination of the respiratory tract showed agglomerated/aggregated MWCNT in the lungs and in the lung-draining lymph nodes. Frustrated phagocytosis was observed as incomplete uptake of MWCNT by the alveolar macrophages and clustering of cells around MWCNT. Large MWCNT agglomerates/aggregates were found in granulomas in the allergic rats, suggesting decreased macrophage clearance in allergic rats. In allergic rats, MWCNT exposure decreased serum IgE levels and the number of lymphocytes in bronchoalveolar lavage. In conclusion, MWCNT did not aggravate the acute allergic reaction but modulated the allergy-associated immune response.

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1,2,4-Benzenetricarboxylic acid, ≥99%