Exposure to multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) has been associated with detrimental cardiovascular outcomes; however, underlying mechanisms have not yet been fully elucidated. Thus, we investigated alterations in proatherogenic and proinflammatory signaling pathways in C57Bl6/ mice exposed to MWCNTs (1 mg/m3) or filtered air (FA-Controls), via inhalation, for 6 h/day, 14d. Expression of mediators of cholesterol transport, namely the lectin-like oxidized low-density lipoprotein receptor (LOX)-1 and ATP-binding cassette transporter (ABCA)-1, inflammatory markers tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and interleukin (IL)-1β/IL-6, nuclear-factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB), intracellular/vascular adhesion molecule(s) (VCAM-1, ICAM-1), and miRNAs (miR-221/-21/-1), associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD), were analyzed in cardiac tissue and coronary vasculature. Cardiac fibrotic deposition, matrix-metalloproteinases (MMP)-2/9, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) were also assessed. MWCNT-exposure resulted in increased coronary ROS production with concurrent increases in expression of LOX-1, VCAM-1, TNF-α, and MMP-2/9 activity; while ABCA-1 expression was downregulated, compared to FA-Controls. Additionally, trends in fibrotic deposition and induction of cardiac TNF-α, MMP-9, IκB Kinase (IKK)-α/β, and miR-221 mRNA expression were observed. Analysis using inhibitors for nitric oxide synthase or NADPH oxidase resulted in attenuated coronary ROS production. These findings suggest that subacute inhalation MWCNT-exposure alters expression of cholesterol transporter/receptors, and induces signaling pathways associated with inflammation, oxidative stress, and CVD in wild-type mice.
Keywords: Coronary arteries; LOX-1; MWCNT; ROS; miRNA.
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