Pleural inflammatory response, mesothelin content and DNA damage in mice at one-year after intra-pleural carbon nanotube administration

Regitze Sølling Wils, Nicklas Raun Jacobsen, Ulla Vogel, Martin Roursgaard, Annie Jensen, Peter Møller*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Many in vitro and in vivo studies have shown that exposure to carbon nanotubes (CNTs) is associated with inflammation, oxidative stress and genotoxicity, although there is a paucity of studies on these effects in the pleural cavity. In the present study, we investigated adverse outcomes of pleural exposure to multi-walled CNTs (MWCNT-7, NM-401 and NM-403) and single-walled CNTs (NM-411). Female C57BL/6 mice were exposed to 0.2 or 5 µg of CNTs by intra-pleural injection and sacrificed one-year post-exposure. Exposure to long and straight types of MWCNTs (i.e. MWCNT-7 and NM-401) was associated with decreased number of macrophages and increased number of neutrophils and eosinophils in pleural lavage fluid. Increased protein content in the pleural lavage fluid was also observed in mice exposed to MWCNT-7 and NM-401. The concentration of mesothelin was increased in mice exposed to MWCNT-7 and NM-411. Levels of DNA strand breaks and DNA oxidation damage, measured by the comet assay, were unaltered in cells from pleural scrape. Extra-pleural effects were seen in CNT exposed mice, including enlarged and pigmented mediastinal lymph nodes (all four types of CNTs), pericardial plaques (MWCNT-7 and NM-401), macroscopic abnormalities on the liver (MWCNT-7) and ovaries/uterus (NM-411). In conclusion, the results demonstrate that intra-pleural exposure to long and straight MWCNTs is associated with adverse outcomes. Certain observations such as increased content of mesothelin in pleural lavage fluid and ovarian/uterine abnormalities in mice exposed to NM-411 suggests that exposure to SWCNTs may also be associated with some adverse outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Article number153662
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Carbon nanotubes
  • Comet assay
  • DNA damage
  • Inflammation
  • Intra-pleural exposure


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