Nanosized TiO2 caused minor airflow limitation in the murine airways

Maija Leppänen (Corresponding Author), Anne Korpi, Mirella Miettinen, Jani Leskinen, Tiina Torvela, Elina M. Rossi, Esa Vanhala, Henrik Wolff, Harri Alenius, Veli-Matti Kosma, Jorma Joutsensaari, Jorma Jokiniemi, Pertti Pasanen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


The use of nanotechnology is increasing exponentially, whereas the possible adverse health effects of engineered nanoparticles (NPs) are so far less known. Standardized mouse bioassay was used to study sensory and pulmonary irritation, airflow limitation, and inflammation potency of nanosized TiO2. Single exposure (0.5 h) to in situ generated TiO2 (primary particle size 20 nm; geometric mean diameters of 91, 113, and 130 nm at mass concentrations of 8, 20, and 30 mg/m3, respectively; crystal phase anatase + brookite (3:1)) caused airflow limitation in the conducting airways at each studied exposure concentration, which was shown as a reduction in expiratory flow, being at the lowest 73% of baseline. The response was not dose dependent. Repeated exposures (altogether 16 h, 1 h/day, 4 days/week for 4 weeks) to TiO2 at mass concentration of 30 mg/m3 caused as intense airflow limitation effect as the single exposures, and the extent of the responses stayed about the same along the exposure days. Sensory irritation was fairly minor. Pulmonary irritation was more pronounced during the latter part of the repeated exposures compared to the single exposures and the beginning of the repeated exposures. Sensory and pulmonary irritation were observed also in the control group, and, therefore, reaction by-products (NO2 and C3H6) may have contributed to the irritation effects. TiO2 NPs accumulated mainly in the pulmonary macrophages, and they did not cause nasal or pulmonary inflammation. In conclusion, the irritation and inflammation potencies of studied TiO2 seemed to be low.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)827-839
JournalArchives of Toxicology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2011
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Airflow limitation
  • engineered nanoparticles
  • inflammation
  • irritation
  • titanium dioxide


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