Author(s): Vietti G, Ibouraadaten S, PalmaiPallag M, Yakoub Y, Bailly C,
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Carbon nanotubes (CNT) can induce lung inflammation and fibrosis in rodents. Several studies have identified the capacity of CNT to stimulate the proliferation of fibroblasts. We developed and validated experimentally here a simple and rapid in vitro assay to evaluate the capacity of a nanomaterial to exert a direct pro-fibrotic effect on fibroblasts. METHODS: The activity of several multi-wall (MW)CNT samples (NM400, the crushed form of NM400 named NM400c, NM402 and MWCNTg 2400) and asbestos (crocidolite) was investigated in vitro and in vivo. The proliferative response to MWCNT was assessed on mouse primary lung fibroblasts, human fetal lung fibroblasts (HFL-1), mouse embryonic fibroblasts (BALB-3T3) and mouse lung fibroblasts (MLg) by using different assays (cell counting, WST-1 assay and propidium iodide PI staining) and dispersion media (fetal bovine serum, FBS and bovine serum albumin, BSA). C57BL/6 mice were pharyngeally aspirated with the same materials and lung fibrosis was assessed after 2 months by histopathology, quantification of total collagen lung content and pro-fibrotic cytokines in broncho-alveolar lavage fluid (BALF). RESULTS: MWCNT (NM400 and NM402) directly stimulated fibroblast proliferation in vitro in a dose-dependent manner and induced lung fibrosis in vivo. NM400 stimulated the proliferation of all tested fibroblast types, independently of FBS- or BSA- dispersion. Results obtained by WST1 cell activity were confirmed with cell counting and cell cycle (PI staining) assays. Crocidolite also stimulated fibroblast proliferation and induced pulmonary fibrosis, although to a lesser extent than NM400 and NM402. In contrast, shorter CNT (NM400c and MWCNTg 2400) did not induce any fibroblast proliferation or collagen accumulation in vivo, supporting the idea that CNT structure is an important parameter for inducing lung fibrosis. CONCLUSIONS: In this study, an optimized proliferation assay using BSA as a dispersant, MLg cells as targets and an adaptation of WST-1 as readout was developed. The activity of MWCNT in this test strongly reflects their fibrotic activity in vivo, supporting the predictive value of this in vitro assay in terms of lung fibrosis potential.
This article was published in Part Fibre Toxicol
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy