Predicting the in vivo pulmonary toxicity induced by acute exposure to poorly soluble nanomaterials by using advanced in vitro methods

Abstract : Background: Animal models remain at that time a reference tool to predict potential pulmonary adverse effects of nanomaterials in humans. However, in a context of reduction of the number of animals used in experimentation, there is a need for reliable alternatives. In vitro models using lung cells represent relevant alternatives to assess potential nanomaterial acute toxicity by inhalation, particularly since advanced in vitro methods and models have been developed. Nevertheless, the ability of in vitro experiments to replace animal experimentation for predicting potential acute pulmonary toxicity in human still needs to be carefully assessed. The aim of the study was to evaluate the differences existing between the in vivo and the in vitro approaches for the prediction of nanomaterial toxicity and to find advanced methods to enhance in vitro predictivity. For this purpose, rats or pneumocytes in co-culture with macrophages were exposed to the same poorly soluble and poorly toxic TiO2 and CeO2 nanomaterials, by the respiratory route in vivo or using more or less advanced methodologies in vitro. After 24 h of exposure, biological responses were assessed focusing on pro-inflammatory effects and quantitative comparisons were performed between the in vivo and in vitro methods, using compatible dose metrics. Results: For each dose metric used (mass/alveolar surface or mass/macrophage), we observed that the most realistic in vitro exposure method, the air-liquid interface method, was the most predictive of in vivo effects regarding biological activation levels. We also noted less differences between in vivo and in vitro results when doses were normalized by the number of macrophages rather than by the alveolar surface. Lastly, although we observed similarities in the nanomaterial ranking using in vivo and in vitro approaches, the quality of the data-set was insufficient to provide clear ranking comparisons. Conclusions: We showed that advanced methods could be used to enhance in vitro experiments ability to predict potential acute pulmonary toxicity in vivo. Moreover, we showed that the timing of the dose delivery could be controlled to enhance the predictivity. Further studies should be necessary to assess if air-liquid interface provide more reliable ranking of nanomaterials than submerged methods.
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Thomas Loret, Françoise Rogerieux, Bénédicte Trouiller, Anne Braun, Christophe Egles, et al.. Predicting the in vivo pulmonary toxicity induced by acute exposure to poorly soluble nanomaterials by using advanced in vitro methods. Particle and Fibre Toxicology, BioMed Central, 2018, 15, pp.25. ⟨10.1186/s12989-018-0260-6⟩. ⟨ineris-01863341⟩

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