Nanoparticles activate the NLR pyrin domain containing 3 (Nlrp3) inflammasome and cause pulmonary inflammation

Nanoparticles are increasingly used in various fields, including
biomedicine and electronics. One application utilizes the opacifying
effect of nano-TiO2, which is frequently used as pigment in cosmetics. Although TiO2 is believed to be biologically inert, an emerging
literature reports increased incidence of respiratory diseases in people exposed to TiO2.
Thus, the inflammation caused by nano-TiO2 in vivo
is largely caused by the biological effect of IL-1α. The current use of
nano-TiO2 may present a health hazard due to its capacity to induce
IL-1R signaling, a situation reminiscent of inflammation provoked
by asbestos exposure.
Yazdi AS, Guarda G, Riteau N, Drexler SK, Tardivel A, Couillin I, Tschopp J
Department of Biochemistry, University of Lausanne
PNAS | November 9, 2010 | vol. 107 | no. 45 | 19449–19454
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