Pulmonary persistence of graphene nanoplatelets may disturb physiological and immunological homeostasis

Eun Jung Park, Sang Jin Lee, Kyuhong Lee, Young Chul Choi, Byoung Seok Lee, Gwang Hee Lee, Dong Wan Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Accumulated evidence suggests that chronic pulmonary accumulation of harmful particles cause adverse pulmonary and systemic health effects. In our previous study, most of the graphene nanoplatelet (GNP) remained in the lung until 28 days after a single instillation. In this study, we sought to evaluate the local and systemic health effect after a long pulmonary persistence of GNP. As expected, GNP remained in the lung on day 90 after a single intratracheal instillation (1.25, 2.5 and 5 mg kg−1). In the lung exposed at the highest dose, the total number of cells and the percentage of lymphocytes significantly increased in the BAL fluid with an increase in both the number of GNP-engulfed macrophages and the percentage of apoptotic cells. A Th1-shifted immune response, the elevated chemokine secretion and the enhanced expression of cytoskeletal-related genes were observed. Additionally, the expression of natriuretic-related genes was noteworthy altered in the lungs. Moreover, the number of white blood cells (WBC) and the percentage of macrophages and neutrophils clearly increased in the blood of mice exposed to a 5-mg kg−1 dose, whereas total protein, BUN and potassium levels significantly decreased. In conclusion, we suggest that the long persistence of GNP in the lung may cause adverse health effects by disturbing immunological- and physiological-homeostasis of our body.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)296-309
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Applied Toxicology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Mar 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (2011-35B-E00011).

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


  • Graphene
  • antigen presentation
  • immune regulation
  • immunotoxicity
  • nanoplatelets
  • physiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


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