Effect of carbon nanoparticles on renal epithelial cell structure, barrier function, and protein expression

Bonnie L. Blazer-Yost, Amiraj Banga, Adam Amos, Ellen Chernoff, Xianyin Lai, Cheng Li, Somenath Mitra, Frank A. Witzmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


To assess effects of carbon nanoparticle (CNP) exposure on renal epithelial cells, fullerenes (C60), single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNT), and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWNT) were incubated with a confluent renal epithelial line for 48 h. At low concentrations, CNP-treated cells exhibited significant decreases in transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER) but no changes in hormone-stimulated ion transport or CNP-induced toxicity or stress responses as measured by lactate dehydrogenase or cytokine release. The changes in TEER, manifested as an inverse relationship with CNP concentration, were mirrored by an inverse correlation between dose and changes in protein expression. Lower, more physiologically relevant, concentrations of CNP have the most profound effects on barrier cell function and protein expression. These results indicate an impact of CNPs on renal epithelial cells at concentrations lower than have been previously studied and suggest caution with regard to increasing CNP levels entering the food chain due to increasing environmental pollution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)354-371
Number of pages18
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Toxicology


  • Carbon nanotubes
  • Cortical collecting duct
  • Dielectric spectroscopy
  • Fullerene
  • Proteomics
  • Transepithelial resistance


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