valuation of TNF Family Gene Expression under the Influence of SingleWalled and Multi-Walled Carboxylated Carbon Nanotubes in Jurkat Cell Line and Rat

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Biology, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

2 Biotechnology Research Center, Research Institute of Petroleum Industry (RIPI), Tehran, Iran

3 Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Research institute in Tehran University, Tehran, Iran.


Background: Nanomaterials, e.g.carbon nanotubes (CNTs), have broad usage in medicine for diagnosis, treatment, and drug delivery. Prior to the widespread use of CNTs, any potential toxicity issues must be considered. Apoptosis is an important issue in toxicological studies, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) family members execute crucial roles in apoptosis and inflammation. We examined the survival of Jurkat cells under the influence of single-walled CNTs (SWCNTs) and multiwalled CNTs (MWCNTs) as well as their impacts on the mRNA levels of TNF family transcripts in Jurkat cells and rats. Objective: To evaluate the toxicity or safety of a specific concentration and form of CNT on the expression of one of the gene families of the apoptotic pathway. Materials and Methods: Jurkat cells were exposed to SWCNTs and MWCNTs in carboxylated form (SWCNTS -COOH and MWCNTs-COOH). MTT assay assessed the cell survival, and using qRT-PCR, the expression levels of TNF, CD40LG, TNFSF10, TNFSF8, CD40, TNFRSF10A, TNFRSF10B, TNFRSF11B, TNFRSF1A, TNFRSF21, TNFRSF25, and TNFRSF9 were examined. The housekeeping genes β-actin and glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase was utilized for normalization. We also evaluated the expression levels of TNF and TNFRSF10A in rats in vivo 30 and 60 days after being injected with CNTs. Results: After 72 h of carboxylated CNTs at 100 µg. mL-1, no significant change was observed in the survival rate of treated Jurkat cells. The expression of two genes (TNF and TNFRSF10A) changed significantly. Examining the expression profiles of these two genes in rats demonstrated an insignificant change in the expression of any of these genes after 30 and 60 days. The qRT-PCR analysis exhibited the elevated levels of TNF and TNFRSF10A mRNA in the CNT-treated cells, while expression of other TNF family members did not significantly differ from control (untreated) Jurkat cells. There was also no significant change in the gene expression levels of TNF and TNFRSF10A in CNT-treated rats after 30 and 60 days. Conclusions: Administration of SWCNTs-COOH and MWCNTs-COOH could result in the up-regulation of TNF and TNFRSF10A but did not initiate apoptosis in Jurkat cells. Carboxylated SWCNTs showed more potent activity than MWCNTs in activating TNF gene expression and probably trigger cell death through external apoptotic pathways.


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