Integration of inflammation, fibrosis, and cancer induced by carbon nanotubes
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Integration of inflammation, fibrosis, and cancer induced by carbon nanotubes
  • Published Date:

    September 19 2019

  • Source:
    Nanotoxicology. 13(9):1244-1274
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  • Description:
    Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are nanomaterials with unique physicochemical properties that are targets of great interest for industrial and commercial applications. Notwithstanding, some characteristics of CNTs are associated with adverse outcomes from exposure to pathogenic particulates, raising concerns over health risks in exposed workers and consumers. Indeed, certain forms of CNTs induce a range of harmful effects in laboratory animals, among which inflammation, fibrosis, and cancer are consistently observed for some CNTs. Inflammation, fibrosis, and malignancy are complex pathological processes that, in summation, underlie a major portion of human disease. Moreover, the functional interrelationship among them in disease pathogenesis has been increasingly recognized. The CNT-induced adverse effects resemble certain human disease conditions, such as pneumoconiosis, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), and mesothelioma, to some extent. Progress has been made in understanding CNT-induced pathologic conditions in recent years, demonstrating a close interconnection among inflammation, fibrosis, and cancer. Mechanistically, a number of mediators, signaling pathways, and cellular processes are identified as major mechanisms that underlie the interplay among inflammation, fibrosis, and malignancy, and serve as pathogenic bases for these disease conditions in CNT-exposed animals. These studies indicate that CNT-induced pathological effects, in particular, inflammation, fibrosis, and cancer, are mechanistically, and in some cases, causatively, interrelated. These findings generate new insights into CNT adverse effects and pathogenesis and provide new targets for exposure monitoring and drug development against inflammation, fibrosis, and cancer caused by inhaled nanomaterials.
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