Susceptibility to quantum dot induced lung inflammation differs widely among the Collaborative Cross founder mouse strains

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Abstract

Quantum dots (QDs) are engineered semiconductor nanoparticles with unique physicochemical properties that make them potentially useful in clinical, research and industrial settings. However, a growing body of evidence indicates that like other engineered nanomaterials, QDs have the potential to be respiratory hazards, especially in the context of the manufacture of QDs and products containing them, as well as exposures to consumers using these products. The overall goal of this study was to investigate the role of mouse strain in determining susceptibility to QD-induced pulmonary inflammation and toxicity. Male mice from 8 genetically diverse inbred strains (the Collaborative Cross founder strains) were exposed to CdSe–ZnS core–shell QDs stabilized with an amphiphilic polymer. QD treatment resulted in significant increases in the percentage of neutrophils and levels of cytokines present in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) obtained from NOD/ShiLtJ and NZO/HlLtJ mice relative to their saline (Sal) treated controls. Cadmium measurements in lung tissue indicated strain-dependent differences in disposition of QDs in the lung. Total glutathione levels in lung tissue were significantly correlated with percent neutrophils in BALF as well as with lung tissue Cd levels. Our findings indicate that QD-induced acute lung inflammation is mouse strain dependent, that it is heritable, and that the choice of mouse strain is an important consideration in planning QD toxicity studies. These data also suggest that formal genetic analyses using additional strains or recombinant inbred strains from these mice could be useful for discovering potential QD-induced inflammation susceptibility loci.

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