Researchers from the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine have found that inhaled carbon black nanoparticles create a double source of inflammation in the lungs.
Their findings were published online in the April 27 edition of the Journal of Biological Chemistry. Martha Monick, Ph.D., UI professor of internal medicine, was lead author of the paper, "Induction of Inflammasome Dependent Pyroptosis by Carbon Black Nanoparticles," which outlined the results.
Monick said researchers expected to find one level of inflammation when cells were exposed to carbon black nanoparticles. They were surprised, however, to find that nanoparticles activated a special inflammatory process and killed cells in a way that further increased inflammation. She said the research showed that the intake of carbon black nanoparticles from sources such as diesel fuel or printer ink caused an initial inflammatory response in lung cells. The surprising results came when the team discovered that these nanoparticles killed macrophages – immune cells in the lungs responsible for cleaning up and attacking infections – in a way that also increases inflammation.
"Apoptosis is one way cells die in which all the contents stay in the cell, the cell just keeps shrinking onto itself and the surrounding tissue is protected," Monick said. "We thought that was what was happening with the carbon nanoparticles; we were wrong. A different process called pyroptosis was occurring, causing the cells to burst and spill their contents."
That, she said, can cause a secondary inflammatory response.
Monick cautioned that the doses of carbon black nanoparticles used in the study were much more concentrated than the amounts to which a person might typically be exposed.
"This doesn't mean that walking through a cloud of diesel exhaust will hurt your lungs," she said. "It does show that we may have an environmental exposure that could contribute to inflammation in the lung."
The study was a collaborative project involving researchers in the Department of Internal Medicine in the UI Carver College of Medicine and the Department of Chemistry in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. In addition to Monick, a key contributor to the research was Vicki Grassian, Ph.D., UI professor of chemistry who holds the F. Wendell Miller Professorship.
The research team also included Anna C. Reisetter, Linda Powers, and Amit Gupta from internal medicine and Larissa V. Stebounova, and Jonas Baltrusaitis in chemistry.
The study was funded in part by a grant from the National Institutes of Health.
Molly Rossiter | EurekAlert!
Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds
26.05.2017 | Cornell University
How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system
26.05.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy