Carbon fullerenes (C60s) can induce inflammatory responses in the lung of mice

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Fullerenes (C60s) occur in the environment due to natural and anthropogenic sources such as volcanic eruptions, forest fires, and the combustion of carbon-based materials. Recently, production and application of engineered C60s have also rapidly increased in diverse industrial fields and biomedicine due to C60′ unique physico-chemical properties, so toxicity assessment on environmental and human health is being evaluated as a valuable work. However, data related to the toxicity of C60s have not been abundant up to now. In this study, we studied the immunotoxic mechanism and change of gene expression caused by the instillation of C60s. As a result, C60s induced an increase in sub G1 and G1 arrest in BAL cells, an increase in pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-1, TNF-α, and IL-6, and an increase of Th1 cytokines such as IL-12 and IFN-r in BAL fluid. In addition, IgE reached the maximum at 1 day after treatment in both BAL fluid and the blood, and decreased in a time-dependent manner. Gene expression of the MHC class II (H2-Eb1) molecule was stronger than that of the MHC class I (H2-T23), and an increase in T cell distribution was also observed during the experiment period. Furthermore, cell infiltration and expression of tissue damage related genes in lung tissue were constantly observed during the experiment period. Based on this, C60s may induce inflammatory responses in the lung of mice.

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