Pulmonary exposure of mice to ammonium perfluoro(2-methyl-3-oxahexanoate) (GenX) suppresses the innate immune response to carbon black nanoparticles and stimulates lung cell proliferation
Lee, H. Y., You, D. J., Taylor-Just, A. J., Linder, K. E., Atkins, H. M., Ralph, L. M., … Bonner, J. C. (2022, June 14). INHALATION TOXICOLOGY.
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have been associated with respiratory diseases in humans, yet the mechanisms through which PFAS cause susceptibility to inhaled agents is unknown. Herein, we investigated the effects of ammonium perfluoro(2-methyl-3-oxahexanoate) (GenX), an emerging PFAS, on the pulmonary immune response of mice to carbon black nanoparticles (CBNP). We hypothesized that pulmonary exposure to GenX would increase susceptibility to CBNP through suppression of innate immunity.Male C57BL/6 mice were exposed to vehicle, 4 mg/kg CBNP, 10 mg/kg GenX, or CBNP and GenX by oropharyngeal aspiration. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) was collected at 1 and 14 days postexposure for cytokines and total protein. Lung tissue was harvested for histopathology, immunohistochemistry (Ki67 and phosphorylated (p)-STAT3), western blotting (p-STAT3 and p-NF-κB), and qRT-PCR for cytokine mRNAs.CBNP increased CXCL-1 and neutrophils in BALF at both time points evaluated. However, GenX/CBNP co-exposure reduced CBNP-induced CXCL-1 and neutrophils in BALF. Moreover, CXCL-1, CXCL-2 and IL-1β mRNAs were increased by CBNP in lung tissue but reduced by GenX. Western blotting showed that CBNP induced p-NF-κB in lung tissue, while the GenX/CBNP co-exposed group displayed decreased p-NF-κB. Furthermore, mice exposed to GenX or GenX/CBNP displayed increased numbers of BALF macrophages undergoing mitosis and increased Ki67 immunostaining. This was correlated with increased p-STAT3 by western blotting and immunohistochemistry in lung tissue from mice co-exposed to GenX/CBNP.Pulmonary exposure to GenX suppressed CBNP-induced innate immune response in the lungs of mice yet promoted the proliferation of macrophages and lung epithelial cells.