Reactive oxygen species production, genotoxicity and telomere length in FE1-Muta (TM) Mouse lung epithelial cells exposed to carbon nanotubes

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Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are fiber-like nanomaterials, which are used in various applications with possible exposure to humans. The genotoxicity and carcinogenic potential of CNTs remain to be fully understood. This study assessed the genotoxicity of three different multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) (MWCNT-7, NM-401 and NM-403) and one single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) (NM-411) in FE1-Muta (TM) Mouse lung epithelial (MML) cells using the alkaline comet assay. With the 2',7'-dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate fluorescent probe, we assessed the effect of CNT-exposure on the intracellular production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). We measured the effect of a 10-week CNT exposure on telomere length using quantitative PCR. Two of the included MWCNTs (NM-401 and MWCNT-7) and the SWCNT (NM-411) caused a significant increase in the level of DNA damage at concentrations up to 40 mu g/ml (all concentrations pooled, p < 0.05), but no concentration-response relationships were found. All of the CNTs caused an increase in intracellular ROS production compared to unexposed cells (p (trend) < 0.05). Results from the long-term exposure showed longer telomere length in cells exposed to MWCNTs compared to unexposed cells (p < 0.01). In conclusion, our results indicated that the included CNTs cause ROS production and DNA strand breaks in FE1-MML cells. Moreover, the MWCNTs, but not the SWCNT, had an impact on telomere length in a long-term exposure scenario.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)661-672
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2021

    Research areas

  • Nanomaterial, DNA damage, comet assay, oxidative stress, telomere length

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