Comparative analysis of lung and blood transcriptomes in mice exposed to multi-walled carbon nanotubes
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Comparative analysis of lung and blood transcriptomes in mice exposed to multi-walled carbon nanotubes

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  • English

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    • Alternative Title:
      Toxicol Appl Pharmacol
    • Description:
      Pulmonary exposure to multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) causes inflammation, fibroproliferation, immunotoxicity, and systemic responses in rodents. However, the search for representative biomarkers of exposure is an ongoing endeavor. Whole blood gene expression profiling is a promising new approach for the identification of novel disease biomarkers. We asked if the whole blood transcriptome reflects pathology-specific changes in lung gene expression caused by MWCNT. To answer this question, we performed mRNA sequencing analysis of the whole blood and lung in mice administered MWCNT or vehicle solution via pharyngeal aspiration and sacrificed 56 days later. The pattern of lung mRNA expression as determined using Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) was indicative of continued inflammation, immune cell trafficking, phagocytosis, and adaptive immune responses. Simultaneously, innate immunity-related transcripts (Plunc, Bpifb1, Reg3g) and cancer-related pathways were downregulated. IPA analysis of the differentially expressed genes in the whole blood suggested increased hematopoiesis, predicted activation of cancer/tumor development pathways, and atopy. There were several common upregulated genes between whole blood and lungs, important for adaptive immune responses: Cxcr1, Cd72, Sharpin, and Slc11a1. Trim24, important for T|2 cell effector function, was downregulated in both datasets. Hla-dqa1 mRNA was upregulated in the lungs and downregulated in the blood, as was Lilrb4, which controls the reactivity of immune response. "Cancer" disease category had opposing activation status in the two datasets, while the only commonality was "Hypersensitivity". Transcriptome changes occurring in the lungs did not produce a completely replicable pattern in whole blood; however, specific systemic responses may be shared between transcriptomic profiles.
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