Copper oxide nanoparticles (CuO NPs) are widely used as catalysts or semiconductors in material fields. Recent studies have suggested that CuO NPs have adverse genotoxicity and cytotoxicity effects on various cells. However, little is known about the toxicity of CuO NPs following exposure to murine lungs. The purpose of this fundamental research was to investigate whether CuO NPs could induce epithelial cell injury, pulmonary inflammation, and eventually fibrosis in C57BL/6 mice. Our studies showed that CuO NPs aggravated pulmonary inflammation in a dose-dependent manner. CuO NPs induced apoptosis of epithelial cells as indicated by TUNEL staining, flow cytometry and western blot analysis, which was partially caused by increased reactive oxygen species (ROS). In addition, CuO NPs exposure promoted collagen accumulation and expression of the progressive fibrosis marker α-SMA in the lung tissues, indicating that CuO NP inhalation could induce pulmonary fibrosis in C57BL/6 mice. All data provide novel evidence that there is an urgent need to prevent the adverse effects of CuO NPs in the human respiratory system.
Scientific Reports – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 14, 2018
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