nanomaterials are among the most commonly produced and used engineered nanomaterials (NMs) in the world. There is controversy regarding their ability to induce inflammation-mediated lung injuries following inhalation exposure. Activation of the NACHT, LRR and PYD domains-containing protein 3 (NALP3) inflammasome and subsequent release of the cytokine interleukin (IL)-1β in pulmonary macrophages has been postulated as an essential pathway for the inflammatory and associated tissue-remodeling effects of toxic particles. Our study aim was to determine and rank the IL-1β activating properties of TiO2
NMs by comparing a large panel of different samples against each other as well as against fine TiO2
, synthetic amorphous silica and crystalline silica (DQ12 quartz). Effects were evaluated in primary bone marrow derived macrophages (BMDMs) from NALP3-deficient and proficient mice as well as in the rat alveolar macrophage cell line NR8383. Our results show that specific TiO2
NMs can activate the inflammasome in macrophages albeit with a markedly lower potency than amorphous SiO2
and quartz. The heterogeneity in IL-1β release observed in our study among 19 different TiO2
NMs underscores the relevance of case-by-case evaluation of nanomaterials of similar chemical composition. Our findings also further promote the NR8383 cell line as a promising in vitro tool for the assessment of the inflammatory and inflammasome activating properties of NMs.
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