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    Cerium dioxide nanoparticles (CeONPs) have been extensively applied in research for future energy development due to two common oxidation states on their surface. Considering that shape (aspect ratio) is a key determinant of NPs-induced toxicity, we compared the toxicity of hexagonal (H)- and rod-shaped (R)-CeONPs in mice. At 24 h after pharyngeal aspiration, both types of CeONPs recruited surrounding immune cells (monocytes and neutrophils) into the lung, and R-CeONPs induced a more severe pulmonary inflammatory response compared with H-CeONPs. To identify an indicator to predict pulmonary inflammatory responses at the cellular level, we also investigated their responses in alveolar macrophage cells. At 24 h after treatment, both types of CeONPs were mainly located within the vacuoles (partially, in the lysosome) in the cytoplasm. Mitochondrial damage, intracellular calcium accumulation, and increased NO production were observed in cells exposed to both types of CeONPs, ultimately resulting in a decrease in cell viability. More interestingly, both types of CeONPs formed multinucleated giant cells. Meanwhile, contrary to when suspended in deionized water, R-CeONPs were strongly aggregated with a negative charge in cell culture media, whereas H-CeONPs were relatively well-dispersed with a positive charge. R-CeONPs-induced lysosomal extension was also recovered by premix with negatively charged DNA, and even NPs suspended in cell culture media without cells were detected under the FACS system, suggesting interference by protein corona. Therefore, we suggest that shape (aspect ratio) is an important factor determining inhaled NPs-induced pathology and that the effect of the surface charge and protein corona should be carefully considered in interpreting results derived from in vitro tests. Furthermore, we propose that the relationship between the formation of multinucleated giant cells and the inflammatory response of inhaled CeONPs should be further studied. Copyright © 2022 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


    Min-Sung Kang, Gwang-Hee Lee, Ik Hwan Kwon, Mi-Jin Yang, Min Beom Heo, Jae-Won Choi, Tae Geol Lee, Cheol-Ho Yoon, Bosung Baek, Myeong-Chang Sung, Dong-Wan Kim, Eun-Jung Park. Uptake and toxicity of cerium dioxide nanoparticles with different aspect ratio. Toxicology letters. 2023 Jan 15;373:196-209

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    PMID: 36464203

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