Fullerene nanomaterials inhibit the allergic response

J Immunol. 2007 Jul 1;179(1):665-72. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.179.1.665.


Fullerenes are a class of novel carbon allotropes that may have practical applications in biotechnology and medicine. Human mast cells (MC) and peripheral blood basophils are critical cells involved in the initiation and propagation of several inflammatory conditions, mainly type I hypersensitivity. We report an unanticipated role of fullerenes as a negative regulator of allergic mediator release that suppresses Ag-driven type I hypersensitivity. Human MC and peripheral blood basophils exhibited a significant inhibition of IgE dependent mediator release when preincubated with C(60) fullerenes. Protein microarray demonstrated that inhibition of mediator release involves profound reductions in the activation of signaling molecules involved in mediator release and oxidative stress. Follow-up studies demonstrated that the tyrosine phosphorylation of Syk was dramatically inhibited in Ag-challenged cells first incubated with fullerenes. In addition, fullerene preincubation significantly inhibited IgE-induced elevation in cytoplasmic reactive oxygen species levels. Furthermore, fullerenes prevented the in vivo release of histamine and drop in core body temperature in vivo using a MC-dependent model of anaphylaxis. These findings identify a new biological function for fullerenes and may represent a novel way to control MC-dependent diseases including asthma, inflammatory arthritis, heart disease, and multiple sclerosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anaphylaxis / immunology
  • Anaphylaxis / metabolism
  • Anaphylaxis / prevention & control
  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / pharmacology
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use
  • Basophils / drug effects
  • Basophils / immunology
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Cell Survival / immunology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Fullerenes / pharmacology*
  • Fullerenes / therapeutic use
  • Histamine Release / drug effects
  • Histamine Release / immunology
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / immunology*
  • Hypersensitivity / metabolism
  • Hypersensitivity / prevention & control*
  • Immunoglobulin E / administration & dosage
  • Immunoglobulin E / biosynthesis
  • Immunoglobulin E / metabolism
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / pharmacology*
  • Lung / cytology
  • Lung / drug effects
  • Lung / immunology
  • Mast Cells / drug effects
  • Mast Cells / immunology
  • Mast Cells / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Nanostructures / therapeutic use*
  • Protein Binding / immunology
  • Skin / cytology
  • Skin / drug effects
  • Skin / immunology


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Fullerenes
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Immunoglobulin E
  • fullerene C60