Background: The use of carbon nanotubes has increased lately. However, the cardiovascular effect of exposure to carbon nanotubes remains elusive. The present study investigated the effects of pulmonary exposure to single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) and double-walled carbon nanotubes (DWCNTs) on atherosclerogenesis using normal human aortic endothelial cells (HAECs) and apolipoprotein E-deficient (ApoE-/-) mice, a model of human atherosclerosis. Methods: HAECs were cultured and exposed to SWCNTs or DWCNTs for 16 h. ApoE-/- mice were exposed to SWCNTs or DWCNTs (10 or 40 μg/mouse) once every other week for 10 weeks by pharyngeal aspiration. Results: Exposure to CNTs increased the expression level of adhesion molecule (ICAM-1) and enhanced THP-1 monocyte adhesion to HAECs. ApoE-/- mice exposed to CNTs showed increased plaque area in the aorta by oil red O staining and up-regulation of ICAM-1 expression in the aorta, compared with vehicle-treated ApoE-/- mice. Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) are mobilized from the bone marrow into the circulation and subsequently migrate to the site of endothelial damage and repair. Exposure of ApoE-/- mice to high-dose SWCNTs or DWCNTs reduced the colony-forming units of EPCs in the bone marrow and diminished their migration function. Conclusion: The results suggested that SWCNTs and DWCNTs enhanced atherosclerogenesis by promoting monocyte adhesion to endothelial cells and inducing EPC dysfunction.
- Carbon nanotubes
- Endothelial cells
- Endothelial progenitor cells
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis