The role of the iron catalyst in the toxicity of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs)

This study aimed to investigate the role of iron, used as a catalyst, in the biological response to pristine and functionalized multi-walled carbon nanotubes with an iron content of 2.5–2.8%

Giuseppa Visalli; Alessio Facciolà; Daniela Iannazzo; Anna Piperno; Alessandro Pistone; Angela Di Pietro

2017

Scholarcy highlights

  • This study aimed to investigate the role of iron, used as a catalyst, in the biological response to pristine and functionalized multi-walled carbon nanotubes with an iron content of 2.5–2.8%
  • We measured intracellular redox-active iron in A549 cells exposed to both MWCNT suspensions and to the cell medium preconditioned by MWCNTs, in order to assess the iron dissolution rate under physiological conditions
  • The results clearly highlighted that MWCNTs- associated iron was not redox-active and that iron leakage did not occur under physiological conditions, including the oxidative burst of specialized cells
  • In MWCNTs exposed cells, higher level of intracellular redox-active iron was measured in comparison to control and a significant time-dependent ROS increase was observed
  • Higher levels of 8-oxo-dG, a marker of oxidative DNA damage, and decreased mitochondrial function, confirmed the oxidative stress induced by MWCNTs
  • This was due to the damage of acidic vacuolar compartment caused by endocytosis–mediated MWCNT internalization

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