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Journal of Immunology Research
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 962871, 8 pages
Review Article

Significance of Persistent Inflammation in Respiratory Disorders Induced by Nanoparticles

1Institute of Industrial Ecological Sciences, University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Japan
2Laboratory of Vaccine Science, WPI Immunology Frontier Research Center, Osaka University, Japan

Received 22 February 2014; Revised 17 June 2014; Accepted 20 June 2014; Published 7 July 2014

Academic Editor: Mario Di Gioacchino

Copyright © 2014 Yasuo Morimoto et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Pulmonary inflammation, especially persistent inflammation, has been found to play a key role in respiratory disorders induced by nanoparticles in animal models. In inhalation studies and instillation studies of nanomaterials, persistent inflammation is composed of neutrophils and alveolar macrophages, and its pathogenesis is related to chemokines such as the cytokine-induced neutrophil chemoattractant (CINC) family and macrophage inflammatory protein-1 and oxidant stress-related genes such as heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1). DNA damages occur chemically or physically by nanomaterials. Chemical and physical damage are associated with point mutation by free radicals and double strand brake, respectively. The failure of DNA repair and accumulation of mutations might occur when inflammation is prolonged, and finally normal cells could become malignant. These free radicals can not only damage cells but also induce signaling molecules containing immunoreaction. Nanoparticles and asbestos also induce the production of free radicals. In allergic responses, nanoparticles act as Th2 adjuvants to activate Th2 immune responses such as activation of eosinophil and induction of IgE. Taken together, the presence of persistent inflammation may contribute to the pathogenesis of a variety of diseases induced by nanomaterials.