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Polyacrylate/nanosilica causes pleural and pericardial effusion, and pulmonary fibrosis and granuloma in rats similar to those observed in exposed workers

Authors Zhu X, Cao W, Chang B, Zhang L, Qiao P, Li X, Si L, Niu Y, Song Y

Received 7 December 2015

Accepted for publication 29 February 2016

Published 18 April 2016 Volume 2016:11 Pages 1593—1605


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Lei Yang

Xiaoli Zhu,1 Wen Cao,2 Bing Chang,3 Linyuan Zhang,3 Peihuan Qiao,3 Xue Li,4 Lifang Si,5 Yingmei Niu,1 Yuguo Song1

1Department of Occupational Medicine and Clinical Toxicology, Beijing Chaoyang Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Ultrasound, Beijing Chaoyang Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, People’s Republic of China; 3Department of Toxicology, National Institute for Occupational Health and Poison Control, China CDC, Beijing, People’s Republic of China; 4Department of Pathology, Beijing Chaoyang Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, People’s Republic of China; 5Department of Radiology, Beijing Chaoyang Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, People’s Republic of China

Abstract: Nanomaterials offer great benefit as well as potential damage to humans. Workers exposed to polyacrylate coatings have pleural effusion, pericardial effusion, and pulmonary fibrosis and granuloma, which are thought to be related to the high exposure to nanomaterials in the coatings. The study aimed to determine whether polyacrylate/silica nanoparticles cause similar toxicity in rats, as observed in exposed workers. Ninety male Wistar rats were randomly divided into five groups with 18 rats in each group. The groups included the saline control group, another control group of polyacrylate only, and low-, intermediate-, and high-dose groups of polyacrylate/nanosilica with concentrations of 3.125, 6.25, and 12.5 mg/kg. Seventy-five rats for the 1-week study were terminated for scheduled necropsy at 24 hours, 3 days, and 7 days postintratracheal instillation. The remaining 15 rats (three males/group) had repeated ultrasound and chest computed tomography examinations in a 2-week study to observe the pleural and pericardial effusion and pulmonary toxicity. We found that polyacrylate/nanosilica resulted in pleural and pericardial effusions, where nanosilica was isolated and detected. Effusion occurred on day 3 and day 5 post-administration of nanocomposites in the 6.25 and 12.5 mg/kg groups, it gradually rose to a maximum on days 7–10 and then slowly decreased and disappeared on day 14. With an increase in polyacrylate/nanosilica concentrations, pleural effusion increased, as shown by ultrasonographic qualitative observations. Pulmonary fibrosis and granuloma were also observed in the high-dose polyacrylate/nanosilica group. Our study shows that polyacrylate/nanosilica results in specific toxicity presenting as pleural and pericardial effusion, as well as pulmonary fibrosis and granuloma, which are almost identical to results in reported patients. These results indicate the urgent need and importance of nanosafety and awareness of toxicity of polyacrylate/nanosilica.

Keywords: polyacrylate/nanosilica, pleural effusion, pericardial effusion, pulmonary fibrosis, granuloma 

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