The Journal of Toxicological Sciences
Online ISSN : 1880-3989
Print ISSN : 0388-1350
ISSN-L : 0388-1350
Original Article
Length effects of single-walled carbon nanotubes on pulmonary toxicity after intratracheal instillation in rats
Makoto EmaHiroshi TakeharaMasato NayaHiromichi KatauraKatsuhide FujitaKazumasa Honda
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2017 Volume 42 Issue 3 Pages 367-378


We aimed to evaluate the effects of the length of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) on pulmonary toxicity in rats. Each rat received a single intratracheal instillation of short (S-) (average length of 0.40 μm) or long (L-) (average length of 2.77 μm) SWCNTs at a dose of 1 mg/kg and was observed for the next 6 months. Neither S- nor L-SWCNTs affected clinical signs, body weight, or autopsy findings. An increase in lung weight was observed after instillation of S- or L-SWCNTs; however, lung weights were slightly higher in the rats that were administered the S-SWCNTs. Distinct differences in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) composition were observed between the S- and L-SWCNT-treated rats as early as 7 days after the intratracheal instillations of the SWCNTs. The S-SWCNTs caused persistent lung injury and inflammation during the 6-month observational period. However, the L-SWCNTs induced minimal lung injury and inflammation. Although the S- and L-SWCNTs changed BALF parameters and histopathological features of the lung, the magnitudes of the changes observed after the S-SWCNT treatment were greater than the respective changes observed after the L-SWCNT treatment. These findings indicate that the severity of the pulmonary toxicity caused after intratracheal instillation of SWCNT depends on the length of the SWCNTs. It appears that shorter SWCNTs induce greater pulmonary toxicity than longer SWCNTs do.

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© 2017 The Japanese Society of Toxicology
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