Cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of MWCNT-7 and crocidolite: assessment in alveolar epithelial cells versus their coculture with monocyte-derived macrophages

Célia Ventura, Joana F.S. Pereira, Paulo Matos, Bárbara Marques, Peter Jordan, António Sousa-Uva, Maria João Silva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In the past years, several in vitro studies have addressed the pulmonary toxicity of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) and compared it with that caused by asbestos fibers, but their conclusions have been somewhat inconsistent and difficult to extrapolate to in vivo. Since cell coculture models were proposed to better represent the in vivo conditions than conventional monocultures, this work intended to compare the cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of MWCNT-7 (Mitsui-7) and crocidolite using A549 cells grown in a conventional monoculture or in coculture with THP-1 macrophages. Although a decrease in A549 viability was noted following exposure to a concentration range of MWCNT-7 and crocidolite, no viability change occurred in similarly exposed cocultures. Early events indicating epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) were observed which could explain apoptosis resistance. The comet assay results were similar between the two models, being positive and negative for crocidolite and MWCNT-7, respectively. An increase in the micronucleus frequency was detected in the cocultured A549-treated cells with both materials, but not in the monoculture. On the other hand, exposure of A549 monocultures to MWCNT-7 induced a highly significant increase in nucleoplasmic bridges in which those were found embedded. Our overall results demonstrate that (i) both materials are cytotoxic and genotoxic, (ii) the presence of THP-1 macrophages upholds the viability of A549 cells and increases the aneugenic/clastogenic effects of both materials probably through EMT, and (iii) MWCNT-7 induces the formation of nucleoplasmic bridges in A549 cells.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNanotoxicology
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2020

Keywords

  • cell viability
  • comet assay
  • micronucleus assay
  • Mitsui-7
  • nucleoplasmic bridges

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