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Title: Exploring the potential role of tungsten carbide cobalt (WC-Co) nanoparticle internalization in observed toxicity toward lung epithelial cells in vitro

Tungsten carbide cobalt (WC-Co) has been recognized as a workplace inhalation hazard in the manufacturing, mining and drilling industries by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. Exposure to WC-Co is known to cause “hard metal lung disease” but the relationship between exposure, toxicity and development of disease remain poorly understood. To better understand this relationship, the present study examined the role of WC-Co particle size and internalization on toxicity using lung epithelial cells. We demonstrated that nano- and micro-WC-Co particles exerted toxicity in a dose- and time-dependent manner and that nano-WC-Co particles caused significantly greater toxicity at lower concentrations and shorter exposure times compared to micro-WC-Co particles. WC-Co particles in the nano-size range (not micron-sized) were internalized by lung epithelial cells, which suggested that internalization may play a key role in the enhanced toxicity of nano-WC-Co particles over micro-WC-Co particles. Further exploration of the internalization process indicated that there may be multiple mechanisms involved in WC-Co internalization such as actin and microtubule based cytoskeletal rearrangements. These findings support our hypothesis that WC-Co particle internalization contributes to cellular toxicity and suggest that therapeutic treatments inhibiting particle internalization may serve as prophylactic approaches for those at risk of WC-Co particlemore » exposure. - Highlights: • Hard metal (WC-Co) particle toxicity was established in lung epithelial cells. • Nano-WC-Co particles caused greater toxicity than micro-WC-Co particles. • Nano- and micro-WC-Co particles were capable of inducing cellular apoptosis. • Nano-WC-Co particles were internalized by lung epithelial cells. • WC-Co particle internalization was mediated by actin dynamics.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [2]
  1. Biomaterials, Bioengineering and Nanotechnology Laboratory, Department of Orthopaedics, School of Medicine, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506 (United States)
  2. (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22439744
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology; Journal Volume: 278; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Copyright (c) 2014 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved.; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
60 APPLIED LIFE SCIENCES; ACTIN; APOPTOSIS; CERMETS; COBALT; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; CONCENTRATION RATIO; DISEASES; IN VITRO; INDUSTRY; LUNGS; MANUFACTURING; MICROTUBULES; MINING; OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY; PARTICLE SIZE; PARTICLES; TIME DEPENDENCE; TOXICITY; TUNGSTEN CARBIDES