Effects of lung exposure to carbon nanotubes on female fertility and pregnancy. A study in mice

Karin S. Hougaard, Petra Jackson, Zdenka O. Kyjovska, Renie K. Birkedal, Pieter-Jan De Temmerman, Andrea Brunelli, Eveline Verleysen, Anne Mette Madsen, Anne T. Saber, Giulio Pojana, Jan Mast, Antonio Marcomini, Keld A. Jensen, Håkan Wallin, Józef Szarek, Alicja Mortensen, Ulla Vogel

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We studied the effects of preconceptional exposure to multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs): mature, female C57BL/6J mice were intratracheally instilled with 67μg NM-400 MWCNT, and the following day co-housed with mature males, in breeding pairs. Time to delivery of the first litter, litter parameters, maternal inflammation and histopathology of lung and liver were recorded. In male offspring, locomotor activity, startle response, and daily sperm production (DSP) were assessed. In the dams, lung and liver bore evidence of MWCNT exposure when assessed 6 weeks and 4 months after exposure. A short delay in the delivery of the first litter was observed in exposed females. Litter parameters, behavior and DSP were similar in control and exposed groups. In conclusion, instillation of a single dose of MWCNT induced long lasting pathological changes in dam lung and liver. Theoretically, lung inflammation due to particle exposure could interfere with female reproductive parameters. Whether the observed lag in delivery of a first litter was in fact caused by exposure to MWCNT should be addressed in a study designed specifically to elucidate effects on the early processes involved in establishment of pregnancy. Exposure was not associated with changes in the assessed gestational or offspring parameters.
Original languageEnglish
JournalReproductive Toxicology
Issue numberSI
Pages (from-to)86-97
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Event41st Annual Conference of the European Teratology Society - Stresa, Italy
Duration: 8 Sep 201311 Sep 2013
Conference number: 41


Conference41st Annual Conference of the European Teratology Society


  • Multiwalled carbon nanotubes
  • Pregnancy
  • Developmental toxicity
  • Reproductive toxicity
  • Nanotoxicology
  • Lung and liver pathology


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