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Comparative carcinogenicity study of a thick, straight-type and a thin, tangled-type multi-walled carbon nanotube administered by intra-tracheal instillation in the rat

  • Saleh, Dina Mourad1, 2, 3
  • Alexander, William T.1
  • Numano, Takamasa1
  • Ahmed, Omnia Hosny Mohamed1, 2, 4
  • Gunasekaran, Sivagami1, 2
  • Alexander, David B.1
  • Abdelgied, Mohamed1, 2, 5
  • El-Gazzar, Ahmed M.1, 2, 6
  • Takase, Hiroshi2
  • Xu, Jiegou1, 7
  • Naiki-Ito, Aya2
  • Takahashi, Satoru2
  • Hirose, Akihiko8
  • Ohnishi, Makoto9
  • Kanno, Jun9
  • Tsuda, Hiroyuki1
  • 1 Nagoya City University, 3-1 Tanabe-Dohri, Mizuho-ku, Nagoya, 466-8603, Japan , Nagoya (Japan)
  • 2 Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Nagoya, Japan , Nagoya (Japan)
  • 3 Assuit University, Assuit, Egypt , Assuit (Egypt)
  • 4 Aswan University, Aswan, Egypt , Aswan (Egypt)
  • 5 Beni-Suef University, Beni-Suef, Egypt , Beni-Suef (Egypt)
  • 6 Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt , Alexandria (Egypt)
  • 7 Anhui Medical University College of Basic Medical Sciences, Hefei, China , Hefei (China)
  • 8 National Institute of Health Sciences, Kawasaki, Japan , Kawasaki (Japan)
  • 9 Japan Bioassay Research Center, Hadano, Kanagawa, Japan , Hadano (Japan)
Published Article
Particle and Fibre Toxicology
BioMed Central
Publication Date
Oct 15, 2020
DOI: 10.1186/s12989-020-00382-y
Springer Nature


BackgroundMulti-walled carbon nanotubes can be divided into two general subtypes: tangled and straight. MWCNT-N (60 nm in diameter) and MWCNT-7 (80–90 nm in diameter) are straight-type MWCNTs, and similarly to asbestos, both are carcinogenic to the lung and pleura when administered to rats via the airway. Injection of straight-type MWCNTs into the peritoneal cavity also induces the development of mesothelioma, however, injection of tangled-type MWCNTs into the peritoneal cavity does not induce carcinogenesis. To investigate these effects in the lung we conducted a 2-year comparative study of the potential carcinogenicities of a straight-type MWCNT, MWCNT-A (approximately 150 nm in diameter), and a tangled-type MWCNT, MWCNT-B (7.4 nm in diameter) after administration into the rat lung. Crocidolite asbestos was used as the reference material, and rats administered vehicle were used as the controls. Test materials were administered by intra-Tracheal Intra-Pulmonary Spraying (TIPS) once a week over a 7 week period (8 administrations from day 1 to day 50), followed by a 2-year observation period without further treatment. Rats were administered total doses of 0.5 or 1.0 mg MWCNT-A and MWCNT-B or 1.0 mg asbestos.ResultsThere was no difference in survival between any of the groups. The rats administered MWCNT-A or asbestos did not have a significant increase in bronchiolo-alveolar hyperplasia or tumors in the lung. However, the rats administered MWCNT-B did have significantly elevated incidences of bronchiolo-alveolar hyperplasia and tumors in the lung: the incidence of bronchiolo-alveolar hyperplasia was 0/20, 6/20, and 9/20 in the vehicle, 0.5 mg MWCNT-B, and 1.0 mg MWCNT-B groups, respectively, and the incidence of adenoma and adenocarcinoma combined was 1/19, 5/20, and 7/20 in the vehicle, 0.5 mg MWCNT-B, and 1.0 mg MWCNT-B groups, respectively. Malignant pleural mesothelioma was not induced in any of the groups.ConclusionsThe results of this initial study indicate that tangled-type MWCNT-B is carcinogenic to the rat lung when administered via the airway, and that straight-type MWCNT-A did not have higher carcinogenic potential in the rat lung than tangled-type MWCNT-B.

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