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Part Fibre Toxicol. 2010 Oct 19;7:30. doi: 10.1186/1743-8977-7-30.

Acute exposure of mice to high-dose ultrafine carbon black decreases susceptibility to pneumococcal pneumonia.

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  • 1Department of Infection Immunity and Inflammation, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Epidemiological studies suggest that inhalation of carbonaceous particulate matter from biomass combustion increases susceptibility to bacterial pneumonia. In vitro studies report that phagocytosis of carbon black by alveolar macrophages (AM) impairs killing of Streptococcus pneumoniae. We have previously reported high levels of black carbon in AM from biomass smoke-exposed children and adults. We therefore aimed to use a mouse model to test the hypothesis that high levels of carbon loading of AM in vivo increases susceptibility to pneumococcal pneumonia.

METHODS:

Female outbred mice were treated with either intranasal phosphate buffered saline (PBS) or ultrafine carbon black (UF-CB in PBS; 500 μg on day 1 and day 4), and then infected with S. pneumoniae strain D39 on day 5. Survival was assessed over 72 h. The effect of UF-CB on AM carbon loading, airway inflammation, and a urinary marker of pulmonary oxidative stress was assessed in uninfected animals.

RESULTS:

Instillation of UF-CB in mice resulted a pattern of AM carbon loading similar to that of biomass-smoke exposed humans. In uninfected animals, UF-CB treated animals had increased urinary 8-oxodG (P = 0.055), and an increased airway neutrophil differential count (P < 0.01). All PBS-treated mice died within 72 h after infection with S. pneumoniae, whereas morbidity and mortality after infection was reduced in UF-CB treated animals (median survival 48 h vs. 30 h, P < 0.001). At 24 hr post-infection, UF-CB treated mice had lower lung and the blood S. pneumoniae colony forming unit counts, and lower airway levels of keratinocyte-derived chemokine/growth-related oncogene (KC/GRO), and interferon gamma.

CONCLUSION:

Acute high level loading of AM with ultrafine carbon black particles per se does not increase the susceptibility of mice to pneumococcal infection in vivo.

PMID:
20958976
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2976728
Free PMC Article

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