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Promotion of allergic immune responses by intranasally-administrated nanosilica particles in mice

Tokuyuki Yoshida12, Yasuo Yoshioka123*, Maho Fujimura12, Kohei Yamashita12, Kazuma Higashisaka12, Yuki Morishita12, Hiroyuki Kayamuro12, Hiromi Nabeshi12, Kazuya Nagano2, Yasuhiro Abe2, Haruhiko Kamada23, Shin-ichi Tsunoda234, Norio Itoh1, Tomoaki Yoshikawa12 and Yasuo Tsutsumi123*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Toxicology and Safety Science, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Osaka University, 1-6, Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan

2 Laboratory of Biopharmaceutical Research, National Institute of Biomedical Innovation, 7-6-8 Saito-asagi, Ibaraki, Osaka 567-0085, Japan

3 The Center for Advanced Medical Engineering and Informatics, Osaka University, 1-6, Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan

4 Department of Biomedical Innovation, Graduate school of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Osaka University, 7-6-8 Saito-asagi, Ibaraki, Osaka 567-0085, Japan

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2011, 6:195  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-195

Published: 4 March 2011


With the increase in use of nanomaterials, there is growing concern regarding their potential health risks. However, few studies have assessed the role of the different physical characteristics of nanomaterials in allergic responses. Here, we examined whether intranasally administered silica particles of various sizes have the capacity to promote allergic immune responses in mice. We used nanosilica particles with diameters of 30 or 70 nm (nSP30 or nSP70, respectively), and conventional micro-sized silica particles with diameters of 300 or 1000 nm (nSP300 or mSP1000, respectively). Mice were intranasally exposed to ovalbumin (OVA) plus each silica particle, and the levels of OVA-specific antibodies (Abs) in the plasma were determined. Intranasal exposure to OVA plus smaller nanosilica particles tended to induce a higher level of OVA-specific immunoglobulin (Ig) E, IgG and IgG1 Abs than did exposure to OVA plus larger silica particles. Splenocytes from mice exposed to OVA plus nSP30 secreted higher levels of Th2-type cytokines than mice exposed to OVA alone. Taken together, these results indicate that nanosilica particles can induce allergen-specific Th2-type allergic immune responses in vivo. This study provides the foundations for the establishment of safe and effective forms of nanosilica particles.