Systematic review on primary and secondary genotoxicity of carbon black nanoparticles in mammalian cells and animals

Tidsskriftartikel - 2022


Carbon black exposure causes oxidative stress, inflammation and genotoxicity. The objective of this systematic review was to assess the contributions of primary (i.e. direct formation of DNA damage) and secondary genotoxicity (i.e. DNA lesions produced indirectly by inflammation) to the overall level of DNA damage by carbon black. The database is dominated by studies that have measured DNA damage by the comet assay. Cell culture studies indicate a genotoxic action of carbon black, which might be mediated by oxidative stress. Many in vivo studies originate from one laboratory that has investigated the genotoxic effects of Printex 90 in mice by intra-tracheal instillation. Meta-analysis and pooled analysis of these results demonstrate that Printex 90 exposure is associated with a slightly increased level of DNA strand breaks in bronchoalveolar lavage cells and lung tissue. Other types of genotoxic damage have not been investigated as thoroughly as DNA strand breaks, although there is evidence to suggest that carbon black exposure might increase the mutation frequency and cytogenetic endpoints. Stratification of studies according to concurrent inflammation and DNA damage does not indicate that carbon black exposure gives rise to secondary genotoxicity. Even substantial pulmonary inflammation is at best only associated with a weak genotoxic response in lung tissue. In conclusion, the review indicates that nanosized carbon black is a weak genotoxic agent and this effect is more likely to originate from a primary genotoxic mechanism of action, mediated by e.g. oxidative stress, than inflammation-driven (secondary) genotoxicity.


Di Ianni E, Jacobsen NR, Vogel U, Møller P. Systematic review on primary and secondary genotoxicity of carbon black nanoparticles in mammalian cells and animals. Mutation Research - Reviews in Mutation Research 2022;790:108441.
doi: 10.1016/j.mrrev.2022.108441

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