2010 Volume 56 Issue 4 Pages 387-396
Cerium oxide nanoparticles have a high thermodynamic affinity for oxygen and sulfur, which makes them useful in applications such as catalysts, solar cells, and gas sensors. In this study, we investigated the effects of intratracheal instillation of cerium oxide nanoparticles on the inflammatory responses in mice. The number of neutrophils in bronchoaveolar lavage (BAL) fluids was significantly elevated on day 1 after instillation. Inflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin (IL)-1, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, and IL-6, were also increased in BAL fluid and the cytokine increase initiated the differentiation of naive T cells, followed by the induction of Th1-type cytokines [IL-12 and interferon (IFN)-γ] and Th2-type cytokines (IL-4, IL-5, and IL-10). The secretion of Th1-type cytokines was more dominant than that of Th2-type cytokines. The inflammatory responses were maintained for 28 days by a positive feedback stimulation of IFN-γ and IL-10. In the lung, the expression of inflammatory genes was increased in a time-dependent manner, and granuloma formation appeared on day 14 after instillation. This suggests that intratracheal instillation of cerium oxide nanoparticles causes a delayed-type hypersensitivity reaction and lung fibrosis in mice.