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J Hazard Mater. 2013 Mar 15;248-249:478-86. doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2013.01.046. Epub 2013 Jan 28.

Comparative study of respiratory tract immune toxicity induced by three sterilisation nanoparticles: silver, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.

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  • 1Institute of Health and Environmental Medicine, Tianjin 300050, China.


Silver, zinc oxide, and titanium dioxide nanoparticles are used as sterilisation materials to enhance the performance of disinfectants. We investigated the respiratory tract immune toxicity ("immunotoxicity") of these nanoparticles in vivo and in vitro, and we explored the relationships between particle size, particle shape, chemical composition, chemical stability and the toxicological effects of these typical nanoparticles in rats. In vivo, the rats were exposed to nanoparticles by intratracheal instillation. Exposure to nanoparticles caused an increase in oxidative injury to the lungs and disorders in regulating the cytokine network, which were detected in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, suggesting that oxidative stress might be important for inducing the respiratory immunotoxicity of nanoparticles. In vitro, the phagocytic function of alveolar macrophages (AMs) was dose-dependently reduced by nanoparticles, and ZnO nanoparticles induced greater cytotoxicity than the silver and titanium-dioxide nanoparticles, which were coincident with the results of multiple measurements, such as a cell viability assay by WST-8 and LDH measurements. Comparative analyses demonstrated that particle composition and chemical stability most likely had a primary role in the biological effects of different nanoparticles.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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