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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(1), 40-48;

The Role of Autophagy as a Mechanism of Toxicity Induced by Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes in Human Lung Cells

Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Neuroscience, Nagasaki University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, 1-14 Bunkyo-machi, Nagasaki 852-8521, Japan
Clinical Pharmacology Educational Center, Nihon Pharmaceutical University, Ina-machi, Saitama 362-0806, Japan
Institute for Biomedical Sciences, Interdisciplinary Cluster for Cutting Edge Research, Shinshu University, 3-1-1 Asahi, Matsumoto, Nagano 390-8621, Japan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: James C. Bonner
Received: 14 October 2014 / Accepted: 15 December 2014 / Published: 23 December 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanotoxicology and Lung Diseases)
Full-Text   |   PDF [877 KB, uploaded 23 December 2014]   |  


Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are promising nanomaterials having unique physical and chemical properties, with applications in a variety of fields. In this review, we briefly summarize the intrinsic properties of highly purified multi-walled CNTs (MWCNTs, HTT2800) and their potential hazardous effects on intracellular and extracellular pathways, which alter cellular signaling and impact major cell functions such as differentiation, reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, apoptosis, and autophagy. A recent study suggested that the induction of autophagy by CNTs causes nanotoxicity. Autophagy was recently recognized as a critical cell death pathway, and autophagosome accumulation has been found to be associated with exposure to CNTs. Although autophagy is considered as a cytoprotective process, it is often observed in association with cell death, and the relationship between autophagy and cell death remains unclear. Our recent study suggests that the levels of autophagy-related genes (LC3B) and autophagosome formation are clearly up-regulated, along with an increase in numbers of autophagosome vacuoles. This review highlights the importance of autophagy as an emerging mechanism of CNT toxicity. View Full-Text
Keywords: autophagy; carbon nanotube; lung cell; cell death autophagy; carbon nanotube; lung cell; cell death

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Tsukahara, T.; Matsuda, Y.; Haniu, H. The Role of Autophagy as a Mechanism of Toxicity Induced by Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes in Human Lung Cells. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16, 40-48.

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