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Black phosphorus quantum dots induce myocardial inflammatory responses and metabolic disorders in mice


Zhenghong Zuo , Chao Shen , Xiaoyan Ding , Jinpeng Ruan , Fengkai Ruan , Weiping Hu , Jiyi Huang , Chengyong He , Yi Yu

DOI:10.1016/j.jes.2023.01.004

Received September 01, 2022,Revised , Accepted January 03, 2023, Available online January 10, 2023

Volume 36,2024,Pages 53-64

As an ultrasmall derivative of black phosphorus (BP) sheets, BP quantum dots (BP-QDs) have been effectively used in many fields. Currently, information on the cardiotoxicity induced by BP-QDs remains limited. We aimed to evaluate BP-QD-induced cardiac toxicity in mice. Histopathological examination of heart tissue sections was performed. Transcriptome sequencing, real-time quantitative PCR (RT‒qPCR), western blotting, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) assays were used to detect the mRNA and/or protein expression of proinflammatory cytokines, nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB), phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase-protein kinase B (PI3K-AKT), peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ), and glucose/lipid metabolism pathway-related genes. We found that heart weight and heart/body weight index (HBI) were significantly reduced in mice after intragastric administration of 0.1 or 1 mg/kg BP-QDs for 28 days. In addition, obvious inflammatory cell infiltration and increased cardiomyocyte diameter were observed in the BP-QD-treated groups. Altered expression of proinflammatory cytokines and genes related to the NF-κB signaling pathway further confirmed that BP-QD exposure induced inflammatory responses. In addition, BP-QD treatment also affected the PI3K-AKT, PPARγ, thermogenesis, oxidative phosphorylation, and cardiac muscle contraction signaling pathways. The expression of genes related to glucose/lipid metabolism signaling pathways was dramatically affected by BP-QD exposure, and the effect was primarily mediated by the PPAR signaling pathway. Our study provides new insights into the toxicity of BP-QDs to human health.

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