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In vitro inflammatory effects of hard metal (WC–Co) nanoparticle exposure

Authors Armstead AL, Li B

Received 31 August 2016

Accepted for publication 2 October 2016

Published 21 November 2016 Volume 2016:11 Pages 6195—6206


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Carlos Rinaldi

Andrea L Armstead,1,2 Bingyun Li1–3

1Department of Orthopaedics, School of Medicine, 2School of Pharmacy, West Virginia University, 3Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center, Morgantown, WV, USA

Abstract: Identifying the toxicity of nanoparticles (NPs) is an important area of research as the number of nanomaterial-based consumer and industrial products continually rises. In addition, the potential inflammatory effects resulting from pulmonary NP exposure are emerging as an important aspect of nanotoxicity. In this study, the toxicity and inflammatory state resulting from tungsten carbide–cobalt (WC–Co) NP exposure in macrophages and a coculture (CC) of lung epithelial cells (BEAS-2B) and macrophages (THP-1) at a 3:1 ratio were examined. It was found that the toxicity of nano-WC–Co was cell dependent; significantly less toxicity was observed in THP-1 cells compared to BEAS-2B cells. It was demonstrated that nano-WC–Co caused reduced toxicity in the CC model compared to lung epithelial cell monoculture, which suggested that macrophages may play a protective role against nano-WC–Co-mediated toxicity in CCs. Nano-WC–Co exposure in macrophages resulted in increased levels of interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-12 secretion and decreased levels of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα). In addition, the polarizing effects of nano-WC–Co exposure toward the M1 (pro-inflammatory) and M2 (anti-inflammatory) macrophage phenotypes were investigated. The results of this study indicated that nano-WC–Co exposure stimulated the M1 phenotype, marked by high expression of CD40 M1 macrophage surface markers.

Keywords: nanoparticle, nanotoxicity, inflammation, macrophage, lung disease

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