NTP collaboration enhances multiwalled carbon nanotubes research
Inhalation of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) alters the immune response to dust mite allergens and leaves mice susceptible to airway inflammation and fibrosis, according to a team of NIEHS-funded researchers that included scientists at the National Toxicology Program (NTP), North Carolina State University, and Battelle Biomedical Research Centre. The findings provide new insights into the effects of inhaled MWCNTs on susceptibility to allergic lung disease.
MWCNTs are tiny hollow nanoscale fibers used in a range of industrial and consumer products. As the number of products containing these nanomaterials rises, so do concerns over their potential toxicity. In this study, researchers exposed mice by inhalation to varying concentrations of MWCNTs particles in the air for five days a week over a 30-day period, before exposing them to a dose of house dust mite (HDM) allergens.
The researchers were surprised to find that exposure to MWCNTs dampened several aspects of the immune response to HDM. However, exposure to both substances led to significant lung damage, including lesions around the airways and blood vessels, as well as scarring of lung tissue, which was not seen with either exposure alone. The study highlights the impacts of dose, exposure route, and timing of exposure on the toxicity of carbon nanotubes. (MB)
Citation: Ihrie MD, Taylor-Just AJ, Walker NJ, Stout MD, Gupta A, Richey JS, Hayden BK, Baker GL, Sparrow BR, Duke KS, Bonner JC. 2019. Inhalation exposure to multi-walled carbon nanotubes alters the pulmonary allergic response of mice to house dust mite allergen. Inhal Toxicol 31(5):192–202.