Genotoxicity of poorly soluble particles

R.P. Schins*, A.M. Knaapen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Poorly soluble particles such as TiO2, carbon black, and diesel exhaust particles have been evaluated for their genotoxicity using both in vitro and in vivo assays, since inhalation of these compounds by rats at high concentrations has been found to lead to tumor formation. Two principle modes of genotoxic action can be considered for particles, referred to as primary and secondary genotoxicity. Primary genotoxicity is defined as genetic damage elicited by particles in the absence of pulmonary inflammation, whereas secondary genotoxicity implies a pathway of genetic damage resulting from the oxidative DNA attack by reactive oxygen/nitrogen species (ROS/RNS), generated during particle-elicited inflammation. Conceptually, primary genotoxicity might operate via various mechanisms, such as the actions of ROS (e.g., as generated from reactive particle surfaces), or DNA-adduct formation by reactive metabolites of particle-associated organic compounds (e.g., polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons). Currently available literature data, however, merely indicate that the tumorigenesis of poorly soluble particles involves a mechanism of secondary genotoxicity. However, further research is urgently required, since (1) causality between pulmonary inflammation and genotoxicity has not yet been established, and (2) effects of inflammation on fundamental DNA damage responses that orchestrate mutagenesis and carcinogenic outcome,that is, cell cycle arrest, DNA repair, proliferation, and apoptosis, are currently poorly understood. AD - Institut fur umweltmedizinische Forschung an der Heinrich-Heine-Universitat Dusseldorf, Dusseldorf, Germany.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-198
JournalInhalation Toxicology
Issue numberSuppl 1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007

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