Next Article in Journal
LARP6 Meets Collagen mRNA: Specific Regulation of Type I Collagen Expression
Next Article in Special Issue
Fluorescence-Lifetime Imaging Microscopy for Visualization of Quantum Dots’ Endocytic Pathway
Previous Article in Journal
Alcohol Consumption during Pregnancy: Analysis of Two Direct Metabolites of Ethanol in Meconium
Previous Article in Special Issue
Usefulness of Intratracheal Instillation Studies for Estimating Nanoparticle-Induced Pulmonary Toxicity
Article Menu
Issue 3 (March) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(3), 409;

Biodegradation of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes in Macrophages through Respiratory Burst Modulation

State Key Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, China
Institute of Environment and Health, Jianghan University, Wuhan 430056, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vladimir Sivakov
Received: 22 February 2016 / Revised: 14 March 2016 / Accepted: 14 March 2016 / Published: 22 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Inorganic Nanostructures in Biological Systems)
Full-Text   |   PDF [6041 KB, uploaded 22 March 2016]   |  


The biodegradation of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) may be one of major determinants of the toxic outcomes in exposed individuals. In this study, we employed a macrophage/monocyte model, Raw264.7, to investigate the feasibility of regulating the biodegradation of three types of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) (pristine, ox-, and OH-SWCNTs) by respiratory burst modulation. An artificial fluid mimicking the enzymatic reactions of respiratory burst was constituted to reveal the role of respiratory burst played in SWCNT biodegradation. The biodegradation of SWCNTs were characterized by Raman, ultraviolet-visible-near-infrared spectroscopy, and transmission electron microscopy. Our results showed significantly accelerated biodegradation of ox-SWCNTs and OH-SWCNTs in macrophages activated by phorbol myristate acetate (PMA), which could be prevented by N-acetyl-l-cysteine (NAC), whereas p-SWCNTs were resistant to biodegradation. Similar tendencies were observed by using the in vitro enzymatic system, and the degradation rates of these SWCNTs are in the order of OH-SWCNTs > ox-SWCNTs >> p-SWCNTs, suggesting a pivotal role of respiratory burst in accelerating the biodegradation of SWCNTs and that defect sites on SWCNTs might be a prerequisite for the biodegradation to occur. Our findings might provide invaluable clues on the development of intervention measurements for relieving the side effects of SWCNTs and would help to design safer SWCNT products with higher biodegradability and less toxicity. View Full-Text
Keywords: single-walled carbon nanotubes; biodegradation; respiratory burst; in vitro enzymatic system single-walled carbon nanotubes; biodegradation; respiratory burst; in vitro enzymatic system

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Supplementary material


Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Hou, J.; Wan, B.; Yang, Y.; Ren, X.-M.; Guo, L.-H.; Liu, J.-F. Biodegradation of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes in Macrophages through Respiratory Burst Modulation. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17, 409.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Int. J. Mol. Sci. EISSN 1422-0067 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top