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Aging influence on pulmonary and systemic inflammation and neural metabolomics arising from pulmonary multi-walled carbon nanotube exposure in apolipoprotein E-deficient and C57BL/6 female mice

posted on 2023-01-19, 06:20 authored by Tamara L. Young, David Scieszka, Jessica G. Begay, Selita N. Lucas, Guy Herbert, Katherine Zychowski, Russell Hunter, Raul Salazar, Andrew K. Ottens, Aaron Erdely, Haiwei Gu, Matthew J. Campen

Environmental exposures exacerbate age-related pathologies, such as cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. Nanoparticulates, and specifically carbon nanomaterials, are a fast-growing contributor to the category of inhalable pollutants, whose risks to health are only now being unraveled. The current study assessed the exacerbating effect of age on multiwalled-carbon nanotube (MWCNT) exposure in young and old C57BL/6 and ApoE−/− mice.

Female C57BL/6 and apolipoprotein E-deficient (ApoE−/−) mice, aged 8 weeks and 15 months, were exposed to 0 or 40 µg MWCNT via oropharyngeal aspiration. Pulmonary inflammation, inflammatory bioactivity of serum, and neurometabolic changes were assessed at 24 h post-exposure.

Pulmonary neutrophil infiltration was induced by MWCNT in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid in both C57BL/6 and ApoE−/−. Macrophage counts decreased with MWCNT exposure in ApoE−/− mice but were unaffected by exposure in C57BL/6 mice. Older mice appeared to have greater MWCNT-induced total protein in lavage fluid. BALF cytokines and chemokines were elevated with MWCNT exposure, but CCL2, CXCL1, and CXCL10 showed reduced responses to MWCNT in older mice. However, no significant serum inflammatory bioactivity was detected. Cerebellar metabolic changes in response to MWCNT were modest, but age and strain significantly influenced metabolite profiles assessed. ApoE−/− mice and older mice exhibited less robust metabolite changes in response to exposure, suggesting a reduced health reserve.

Age influences the pulmonary and neurological responses to short-term MWCNT exposure. However, with only the model of moderate aging (15 months) in this study, the responses appeared modest compared to inhaled toxicant impacts in more advanced aging models.


This research was funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health [R01 OH010828] and the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences [R01 ES014639].