Effect of ultrafine carbon black particles on lipoteichoic acid-induced early pulmonary inflammation in BALB/c mice

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We studied the interaction effects of a single intratracheal instillation of ultrafine carbon black (CB) particles and staphylococcal lipoteichoic acid (LTA) on early pulmonary inflammation in male BALB/c mice. We examined the cellular profile, cytokine and chemokine levels in the bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid, and expression of chemokine and toll-like receptor (TLR) mRNAs in lungs. LTA produced a dose-related increase in early pulmonary inflammation, which was characterized by (1) influx of polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMNs) and (2) induction of interleukin (IL)-6, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-1α/CCL3, but no effect on monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1/CCL2 at 24 h after instillation. Levels of some proinflammatory indicators and TLR2-mRNA expression were significantly increased by 14 nm or 95 nm CB (125 μg) and low-dose LTA (10 μg) treatment compared to CB or LTA alone at 4 h after instillation. Notably, PMN levels and production of IL-6 and CCL2 in the 14 nm CB + LTA were significantly higher than that of 95 nm CB + LTA at 4 h after instillation. However, at 24 h after instillation, only PMN levels were significantly higher in the 14 nm CB + LTA than 95 nm CB + LTA but not the cytokines and chemokines. These data show additive as well as synergistic interaction effects of 14 nm or 95 nm ultrafine CB particles and LTA. We suggest that early pulmonary inflammatory responses in male BALB/c mice may be induced in a size-specific manner of the CB particles used in our study.

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