Short-term exposure to engineered nanomaterials affects cellular epigenome.
ABSTRACT: Extensive incorporation of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) into industrial and biomedical applications increases the risks of exposure to these potentially hazardous materials. While the geno- and cytotoxic effects of ENMs have been investigated, the potential of ENMs to target the cellular epigenome remains largely unknown. Our goal was to determine whether industry relevant ENMs can affect the epigenome at low cytotoxic doses. A panel of cells relevant to inhalation exposures such as human and murine macrophages (THP-1 and RAW264.7, respectively) and human small airway epithelial cells (SAEC) were exposed to printer-emitted engineered nanoparticles (PEPs), mild steel welding fumes (MS-WF), copper oxide (CuO) and titanium dioxide nanoparticles. Toxicological effects, including cytotoxicity, oxidative stress and inflammatory responses were assessed, taking into consideration in vitro dosimetry. The effects of ENMs on cellular epigenome were determined by addressing the global and transposable elements (TEs)-associated DNA methylation and expression of DNA methylation machinery and TEs. The percentage of ENMs-induced cytotoxicity for all cell lines was in the range of 0-15%. Oxidative stress was evident in SAEC after exposure to PEPs and in THP-1 when exposed to CuO. In addition, exposure to ENMs resulted in modest alterations in DNA methylation of two most abundant TEs in mammalian genomes, LINE-1 and Alu/SINE, their transcriptional reactivation, and decreased expression of DNA methylation machinery in a cell-, dose- and ENM-dependent manner. These results indicate that exposure to ENMs at environmentally relevant concentrations, aside from the geno- and cytotoxic effects, can also affect the epigenome of target cells.
Project description:Evidence continues to grow on potential environmental health hazards associated with engineered nanomaterials (ENMs). While the geno- and cytotoxic effects of ENMs have been investigated, their potential to target the epigenome remains largely unknown. The aim of this study is two-fold: 1) determining whether or not industry relevant ENMs can affect the epigenome in vivo and 2) validating a recently developed in vitro epigenetic screening platform for inhaled ENMs. Laser printer-emitted engineered nanoparticles (PEPs) released from nano-enabled toners during consumer use and copper oxide (CuO) were chosen since these particles induced significant epigenetic changes in a recent in vitro companion study. In this study, the epigenetic alterations in lung tissue, alveolar macrophages and peripheral blood from intratracheally instilled mice were evaluated. The methylation of global DNA and transposable elements (TEs), the expression of the DNA methylation machinery and TEs, in addition to general toxicological effects in the lung were assessed. CuO exhibited higher cell-damaging potential to the lung, while PEPs showed a greater ability to target the epigenome. Alterations in the methylation status of global DNA and TEs, and expression of TEs and DNA machinery in mouse lung were observed after exposure to CuO and PEPs. Additionally, epigenetic changes were detected in the peripheral blood after PEPs exposure. Altogether, CuO and PEPs can induce epigenetic alterations in a mouse experimental model, which in turn confirms that the recently developed in vitro epigenetic platform using macrophage and epithelial cell lines can be successfully utilized in the epigenetic screening of ENMs.
Project description:The printer is one of the most common office equipment. Recently, it was reported that toner formulations for printing equipment constitute nano-enabled products (NEPs) and contain engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) that become airborne during printing. To date, insufficient research has been performed to understand the potential toxicological properties of printer-emitted particles (PEPs) with several studies using bulk toner particles as test particles. These studies demonstrated the ability of toner particles to cause chronic inflammation and fibrosis in animal models. However, the toxicological implications of inhalation exposures to ENMs emitted from laser printing equipment remain largely unknown. The present study investigates the toxicological effects of PEPs using an in vitro alveolar-capillary co-culture model with Human Small Airway Epithelial Cells (SAEC) and Human Microvascular Endothelial Cells (HMVEC). Our data demonstrate that direct exposure of SAEC to low concentrations of PEPs (0.5 and 1.0?µg/mL) caused morphological changes of actin remodeling and gap formations within the endothelial monolayer. Furthermore, increased production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and angiogenesis were observed in the HMVEC. Analysis of cytokine and chemokine levels demonstrates that interleukin (IL)-6 and MCP-1 may play a major role in the cellular communication observed between SAEC and HMVEC and the resultant responses in HMVEC. These data indicate that PEPs at low, non-cytotoxic exposure levels are bioactive and affect cellular responses in an alveolar-capillary co-culture model, which raises concerns for potential adverse health effects.
Project description:Engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) incorporated into toner formulations of printing equipment become airborne during consumer use. Although information on the complex physicochemical and toxicological properties of both toner powders and printer-emitted particles (PEPs) continues to grow, most toxicological studies have not used the actual PEPs but rather have primarily used raw toner powders, which are not representative of current exposures experienced at the consumer level during printing.We assessed the biological responses of a panel of human cell lines to PEPs.Three physiologically relevant cell lines--small airway epithelial cells (SAECs), macrophages (THP-1 cells), and lymphoblasts (TK6 cells)--were exposed to PEPs at a wide range of doses (0.5-100 ?g/mL) corresponding to human inhalation exposure durations at the consumer level of 8 hr or more. Following treatment, toxicological parameters reflecting distinct mechanisms were evaluated.PEPs caused significant membrane integrity damage, an increase in reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, and an increase in pro-inflammatory cytokine release in different cell lines at doses equivalent to exposure durations from 7.8 to 1,500 hr. Furthermore, there were differences in methylation patterns that, although not statistically significant, demonstrate the potential effects of PEPs on the overall epigenome following exposure.The in vitro findings obtained in this study suggest that laser printer-emitted engineered nanoparticles may be deleterious to lung cells and provide preliminary evidence of epigenetic modifications that might translate to pulmonary disorders.
Project description:It is well established that printers emit nanoparticles during their operation. To-date, however, the physicochemical and toxicological characterization of "real world" printer-emitted nanoparticles (PEPs) remains incomplete, hampering proper risk assessment efforts. Here, we investigate our earlier hypothesis that engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) are used in toners and ENMs are released during printing (consumer use). Furthermore, we conduct a detailed physicochemical and morphological characterization of PEPs in support of ongoing toxicological assessment. A comprehensive suite of state of the art analytical methods and tools was employed for the physicochemical and morphological characterization of 11 toners widely utilized in printers from major printer manufacturers and their PEPs. We confirmed that a number of ENMs incorporated into toner formulations (e.g. silica, alumina, titania, iron oxide, zinc oxide, copper oxide, cerium oxide, carbon black among others) and released into the air during printing. All evaluated toners contained large amounts of organic carbon (OC, 42-89%), metals/metal oxides (1-33%), and some elemental carbon (EC, 0.33-12%). The PEPs possess a composition similar to that of toner and contained 50-90% OC, 0.001-0.5% EC and 1-3% metals. While the chemistry of the PEPs generally reflected that of their toners, considerable differences are documented indicative of potential transformations taking place during consumer use (printing). We conclude that: (i) Routine incorporation of ENMs in toners classifies them as nano-enabled products (NEPs); (ii) These ENMs become airborne during printing; (iii) The chemistry of PEPs is complex and it reflects that of the toner and paper. This work highlights the importance of understanding life-cycle (LC) nano-EHS implications of NEPs and assessing real world exposures and associated toxicological properties rather than focusing on "raw" materials used in the synthesis of an NEP.
Project description:Transposable elements (TEs) have deposited functional regulatory elements throughout the human genome. Although most are silenced, certain TEs have been co-opted by the host. However, a comprehensive, multidimensional picture of the contribution of TEs to normal human gene regulation is still lacking. Here, we quantify the epigenomic status of TEs across human anatomy and development using data from the Roadmap Epigenomics Project. We find that TEs encompass a quarter of the human regulatory epigenome, and 47% of elements can be in an active regulatory state. We demonstrate that SINEs are enriched relative to other classes for active and transcribed marks, that TEs encompass a higher proportion of enhancer states in the hematopoietic lineage, and that DNA methylation of Alu elements decreases with age, corresponding with a loss of CpG islands. Finally, we identify TEs that may perform an evolutionarily conserved regulatory function, providing a systematic profile of TE activity in normal human tissue.
Project description:Several engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) are used in toner-based printing equipment (TPE) including laser printers and photocopiers to improve toner performance. High concentration of airborne nanoparticles due to TPE emissions has been documented in copy centers and chamber studies. Recent animal inhalation studies by our group suggested exposure to laser printer-emitted nanoparticles (PEPs) increased cardiovascular risk by impairing ventricular performance and inducing hypertension and arrhythmia, consistent with global transcriptomic and metabolomic profiling results. There has been no genome-wide transcriptomic analysis of workers exposed to TPE emissions to systematically assess the occupational exposure health risks. In this pilot study, deep RNA sequencing of blood samples of workers in two printing companies in Singapore was performed. The genome-scale analysis of the blood samples from TPE exposed workers revealed perturbed transcriptional activities related to inflammatory and immune responses, metabolism, cardiovascular impairment, neurological diseases, oxidative stress, physical morphogenesis/deformation, and cancer, when compared with the control peers (office workers). Many of these disease risks associated with particle inhalation exposures in such work environments were consistent with the observation from the PEPs rat inhalation studies. In particular, the cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) was a top significantly perturbed pathway in blood samples from exposed workers compared with the office workers in both companies. The protein expression of sICAM was verified in plasma of exposed workers, showing a positive correlation with daily average nanoparticle concentration in indoor air measured in these two companies. Larger scale genomic and molecular epidemiology studies in copier operators are warranted in order to assess potential risks from such particulate matter exposures.
Project description:The increasing production and use of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) inevitably results in their higher concentrations in the environment. This may lead to undesirable environmental effects and thus warrants risk assessment. The ecotoxicity testing of a wide variety of ENMs rapidly evolving in the market is costly but also ethically questionable when bioassays with vertebrates are conducted. Therefore, alternative methods, e.g., models for predicting toxicity mechanisms of ENMs based on their physico-chemical properties (e.g., quantitative (nano)structure-activity relationships, QSARs/QNARs), should be developed. While the development of such models relies on good-quality experimental toxicity data, most of the available data in the literature even for the same test species are highly variable. In order to map and analyse the state of the art of the existing nanoecotoxicological information suitable for QNARs, we created a database NanoE-Tox that is available as Supporting Information File 1. The database is based on existing literature on ecotoxicology of eight ENMs with different chemical composition: carbon nanotubes (CNTs), fullerenes, silver (Ag), titanium dioxide (TiO2), zinc oxide (ZnO), cerium dioxide (CeO2), copper oxide (CuO), and iron oxide (FeO x ; Fe2O3, Fe3O4). Altogether, NanoE-Tox database consolidates data from 224 articles and lists altogether 1,518 toxicity values (EC50/LC50/NOEC) with corresponding test conditions and physico-chemical parameters of the ENMs as well as reported toxicity mechanisms and uptake of ENMs in the organisms. 35% of the data in NanoE-Tox concerns ecotoxicity of Ag NPs, followed by TiO2 (22%), CeO2 (13%), and ZnO (10%). Most of the data originates from studies with crustaceans (26%), bacteria (17%), fish (13%), and algae (11%). Based on the median toxicity values of the most sensitive organism (data derived from three or more articles) the toxicity order was as follows: Ag > ZnO > CuO > CeO2 > CNTs > TiO2 > FeO x . We believe NanoE-Tox database contains valuable information for ENM environmental hazard estimation and development of models for predicting toxic potential of ENMs.
Project description:Copper oxide nanoparticles (CuO NPs) are heavily utilized in semiconductor devices, gas sensor, batteries, solar energy converter, microelectronics and heat transfer fluids. It has been reported that liver is one of the target organs for nanoparticles after they gain entry into the body through any of the possible routes. Recent studies have shown cytotoxic response of CuO NPs in liver cells. However, the underlying mechanism of apoptosis in liver cells due to CuO NPs exposure is largely lacking. We explored the possible mechanisms of apoptosis induced by CuO NPs in human hepatocellular carcinoma HepG2 cells. Prepared CuO NPs were spherical in shape with a smooth surface and had an average diameter of 22 nm. CuO NPs (concentration range 2-50 µg/ml) were found to induce cytotoxicity in HepG2 cells in dose-dependent manner, which was likely to be mediated through reactive oxygen species generation and oxidative stress. Tumor suppressor gene p53 and apoptotic gene caspase-3 were up-regulated due to CuO NPs exposure. Decrease in mitochondrial membrane potential with a concomitant increase in the gene expression of bax/bcl2 ratio suggested that mitochondria mediated pathway involved in CuO NPs induced apoptosis. This study has provided valuable insights into the possible mechanism of apoptosis caused by CuO NPs at in vitro level. Underlying mechanism(s) of apoptosis due to CuO NPs exposure should be further invested at in vivo level.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Using engineered nanomaterial-based toners, laser printers generate aerosols with alarming levels of nanoparticles that bear high bioactivity and potential health risks. Yet, the cardiac impacts of printer-emitted particles (PEPs) are unknown. Inhalation of particulate matter (PM) promotes cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, and ultra-fine particulates (<?0.1??m aerodynamic diameter) may bear toxicity unique from larger particles. Toxicological studies suggest that PM impairs left ventricular (LV) performance; however, such investigations have heretofore required animal restraint, anesthesia, or ex vivo preparations that can confound physiologic endpoints and/or prohibit LV mechanical assessments during exposure. To assess the acute and chronic effects of PEPs on cardiac physiology, male Sprague Dawley rats were exposed to PEPs (21?days, 5?h/day) while monitoring LV pressure (LVP) and electrocardiogram (ECG) via conscious telemetry, analyzing LVP and heart rate variability (HRV) in four-day increments from exposure days 1 to 21, as well as ECG and baroreflex sensitivity. At 2, 35, and 70?days after PEPs exposure ceased, rats received stress tests. RESULTS:On day 21 of exposure, PEPs significantly (P <?0.05 vs. Air) increased LV end systolic pressure (LVESP, +?18?mmHg) and rate-pressure-product (+?19%), and decreased HRV indicating sympathetic dominance (root means squared of successive differences [RMSSD], -?21%). Overall, PEPs decreased LV ejection time (-?9%), relaxation time (-?3%), tau (-?5%), RMSSD (-?21%), and P-wave duration (-?9%). PEPs increased QTc interval (+?5%) and low:high frequency HRV (+?24%; all P <?0.05 vs. Air), while tending to decrease baroreflex sensitivity and contractility index (-?15% and?-?3%, P <?0.10 vs. Air). Relative to Air, at both 2 and 35?days after PEPs, ventricular arrhythmias increased, and at 70?days post-exposure LVESP increased. PEPs impaired ventricular repolarization at 2 and 35?days post-exposure, but only during stress tests. At 72?days post-exposure, PEPs increased urinary dopamine 5-fold and protein expression of ventricular repolarizing channels, Kv1.5, Kv4.2, and Kv7.1, by 50%. CONCLUSIONS:Our findings suggest exposure to PEPs increases cardiovascular risk by augmenting sympathetic influence, impairing ventricular performance and repolarization, and inducing hypertension and arrhythmia. PEPs may present significant health risks through adverse cardiovascular effects, especially in occupational settings, among susceptible individuals, and with long-term exposure.
Project description:The advent of nanotechnology has led to new applications of copper as antibiotic treatment alternatives, nanocomposite coatings, catalysts, and lubricants among others. However, few studies address the impact of nano-size copper on the molecular mechanism of eukaryotic cells. Therefore, in the present study, the human hepatic cell line (WRL-68) was used to evaluate the molecular mechanism involved in the adverse effect of CuO NPs. CuO NPs were characterized by scanning electron microscopy and dynamic light scattering to confirm their 100 nm size and their purity was determined by Fourier transform infra-red spectroscopy. The side scattered intensity in WRL-68 cells at a CuO NP concentration of 250, 500, 750 and 1000 ?M was found to be 108.83%, 126.86%, 189.03% and 250.88% respectively. The reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation at a CuO NP concentration of 1000 ?M in WRL-68 cells was 417.75%. Moreover, the ROS induced methylation of CpG island II on the catalase promoter and downregulated catalase expression at the transcriptional level in WRL-68 cells. Furthermore, the activity of the catalase enzyme was found to decrease with an increase in concentration of CuO NPs. Subsequently, the proliferation of the WRL-68 cells was increased on exposure to the CuO NPs as demonstrated by the mitochondrial activity in the MTT assay. Conclusively, it is demonstrated that exposure of CuO NPs at 1000 ?M for 24 h in the WRL-68 cell induced methylation of CpG island II via ROS on the catalase promoter and downregulated catalase expression at the transcriptional level. The obtained molecular mechanistic insights described adverse effects related to the CuO NPs.