Pulmonary Toxicity Assessment of Aluminum Oxide Nanoparticles via Nasal Instillation Exposure

비강내 점적 노출을 통한 산화 알루미늄 나노입자의 폐독성 평가

  • Received : 2012.12.03
  • Accepted : 2013.01.30
  • Published : 2013.02.28


Objective: The use of nanoparticle products is expected to present a potential harmful effect on consumers. Also, the lack of information regarding inhaled nanoparticles may pose a serious problem. In this study, we addressed this issue by studying pulmonary toxicity after nasal instillation of Al-NPs in SD rats. Methods: The animals were exposed to Al-NPs at 1 mg/kg body weight (low dose), 20 mg/kg body weight (medium dose) and 40 mg/kg body weight (high dose). To determine pulmonary toxicity, bronchoalveolar lavage (ts.AnBAL) fluid analysis and histopathological examination were conducted in rats. In addition, cell viability was investigated at 24 hours after the treatment with Al-NPs. Results: BAL fluid analysis showed that total cells (TC) count and total protein (TP) concentrations increased significantly in all treatment groups, approximately two to three times. Also, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and cytokines such as TNF-alpha and IL-6 dose-dependently increased following nasal instillation of Al-NPs. However, polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs) levels showed no significant changes in a dose dependant manner in BAL fluid. In the cytotoxicity analysis, the treatment of Al-NPs significantly and dose-dependently induced cell viability loss (20 to 30%) and damage of cell membrane (5 to 10%) in rat normal lung epithelial cells (L2). Conclusions: Our results suggest that inhaled Al-NPs in the lungs may be removed quickly by alveolar macrophages with minimal inflammatory reaction, but Al-NPs have the potential to affect lung permeability. Therefore, extensive toxicity evaluations of Al-NPs are required prior to their practical application as consumer products.


aluminum oxide nanoparticles;bronchoalveolar lavage fluid;pulmonary toxicity


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