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J Toxicol Sci. 2011 Aug;36(4):461-8.

Maternal exposure to carbon black nanoparticle increases collagen type VIII expression in the kidney of offspring.


The potential health risks of inhaling nanomaterials are of great concern because of their high specific activity and their unique property of translocation. Earlier studies showed that exposure to nanoparticles through the airway affects both respiratory and extrapulmonary organs. When pregnant mice were exposed to nanoparticles, the respiratory system, the central nervous system and the reproductive system of their offspring were affected. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of maternal exposure to nanoparticles on the offspring, particularly on the kidney. Pregnant ICR mice were exposed to a total of 100 µg of carbon black nanoparticle on the fifth and the ninth days of pregnancy. Samples of blood and kidney tissue were collected from 3-week-old and 12-week-old male offspring mice. Collagen expression was examined by quantitative RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry. Serum levels of creatinine and blood urea nitrogen were examined. Exposure of pregnant ICR mice to carbon black resulted in increased expression of Collagen, type VIII, a1 (Col8a1) in the tubular cells in the kidney of 12-week-old offspring mice but not in 3-week-old ones. The levels of serum creatinine and blood urea nitrogen, indices of renal function, were not different between the groups. These observations were similar to those of tubulointerstitial fibrosis in diabetic nephropathy. These results suggest that maternal exposure to carbon black nanoparticle induces renal abnormalities similar to tubulointerstitial fibrosis in diabetic nephropathy are induced in the kidney of offspring.

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