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Open Access Research

Carbon-nanoparticle-triggered acute lung inflammation and its resolution are not altered in PPARγ-defective (P465L) mice

Alexander A Götz1*, Antonio Vidal-Puig2, Heiko G Rödel3, Martin Hrabé de Angelis4 and Tobias Stoeger1*

Author Affiliations

1 Comprehensive Pneumology Center, Institute of Lung Biology and Disease, Helmholtz Zentrum München, German Research Center for Environmental Health, Ingolstaedter Landstrasse 1, Neuherberg/Munich, D-85764, Germany

2 Metabolic Research Laboratories, Level 4, Institute of Metabolic Science, Box 289, NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre Addenbrooke's Hospital, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, CB2 0QQ, UK

3 Laboratory of Experimental and Comparative Ethology, University of Paris 13, F-93430, Villetaneuse, France

4 Institute of Experimental Genetics, Helmholtz Zentrum München, German Research Center for Environmental Health, Ingolstaedter Landstrasse 1, Neuherberg/Munich, D-85764, Germany

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Particle and Fibre Toxicology 2011, 8:28  doi:10.1186/1743-8977-8-28

Published: 20 September 2011

Abstract

Background

The alveolar macrophage (AM) - first line of innate immune defence against pathogens and environmental irritants - constitutively expresses peroxisome-proliferator activated receptor γ (PPARγ). PPARγ ligand-induced activation keeps the AM quiescent, and thereby contributes to combat invaders and resolve inflammation by augmenting the phagocytosis of apoptotic neutrophils and inhibiting an excessive expression of inflammatory genes. Because of these presumed anti-inflammatory functions of PPARγ we tested the hypothesis, whether reduced functional receptor availability in mutant mice resulted in increased cellular and molecular inflammatory response during acute inflammation and/or in an impairment of its resolution.

Methods

To address this hypothesis we examined the effects of a carbon-nanoparticle (CNP) lung challenge, as surrogate for non-infectious environmental irritants, in a murine model carrying a dominant-negative point mutation in the ligand-binding domain of PPARγ (P465L/wt). Animals were instilled intratracheally with Printex 90 CNPs and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) was gained 24 h or 72 h after instillation to investigate its cellular and protein composition.

Results

Higher BAL cell numbers - due to higher macrophage counts - were found in mutants irrespective of treatment. Neutrophil numbers in contrast were slightly lower in mutants. Intratracheal CNP instillation resulted in a profound recruitment of inflammatory neutrophils into the alveolus, but genotype related differences at acute inflammation (24 h) and resolution (72 h) were not observed. There were no signs for increased alveolar-capillary membrane damage or necrotic cell death in mutants as determined by BAL protein and lactate-dehydrogenase content. Pro-inflammatory macrophage-derived cytokine osteopontin was higher, but galectin-3 lower in female mutants. CXCL5 and lipocalin-2 markers, attributed to epithelial cell stimulation did not differ.

Conclusions

Despite general genotype-related differences, we had to reject our hypothesis of an increased CNP induced lung inflammation and an impairment of its resolution in PPARγ defective mice. Although earlier studies showed ligand-induced activation of nuclear receptor PPARγ to promote resolution of lung inflammation, its reduced activity did not provide signs of resolution impairment in the settings investigated here.

Keywords:
peroxisome-proliverator activated receptor γ; carbon-nano particle; pulmonary inflammation; chronic lung disease; challenge; immune cell; broncho-alveolar lavage (BAL); inflammatory marker