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WIREs Nanomed Nanobiotechnol
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Interactions of nanomaterials with the immune system

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Abstract Evaluation of the immunomodulatory potentials of nanomaterials is essential for developing safe and consumer‐friendly nanotechnology. Various nanomaterials interact with the immune system, in a beneficial or deleterious way, but mechanistic details about such interactions are scarce. A lack of agreed‐upon guidelines for evaluating the immunotoxicity of nanoparticles (NPs) adds to the complexity of the issue. Various review articles have summarized the immune system interactions of biodegradable NPs (with pharmaceutical uses), but such information is largely lacking for nonbiodegradable NPs. Here we give an overview of interactions of nonbiodegradable, persistent NPs with the immune system. Particular emphases include key factors that shape such interactions, cell‐specific responses, allergy and immune‐sensitive respiratory disorders. WIREs Nanomed Nanobiotechnol 2012, 4:169–183. doi: 10.1002/wnan.166 This article is categorized under: Nanotechnology Approaches to Biology > Nanoscale Systems in Biology Toxicology and Regulatory Issues in Nanomedicine > Toxicology of Nanomaterials

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Schematic overview of nano‐immunotoxicology. Immune dysfunction resulting from exposure to nanomaterials/particles may take the form of a specific stimulation (of one or different compartments of the immune system) leading to, for example, allergy, autoimmunity etc. or it may take the form of an immunosuppression leading to more infectious pathologies and tumor growth.

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Exposure to nanoparticles (NPs, ) will effect different cells at the side of exposure. Epithelial cells, tissue macrophages, and dendritic cells will respond simultaneously to an exposure. The final response will depend on the nature of the particle and the ‘mixed’ signals from the cells involved. After the initial stimulation—direct via particle exposure or indirect via released mediators—dendritic cells and macrophages will develop into mature cells and affect both the innate and adapted immune response. In case of preexisting sensitization, NP exposure can affect the exacerbation during allergen challenge. In case of an allergen challenge without preexisting sensitization the developing allergy can be affected with coexposure to NPs. Th1, type 1 T‐helper lymphocyte; Th2, type 2 T‐helper lymphocyte; Treg, regulatory T‐lymphocyte; M1 & M2, polarized macrophages type 1 & 2; DC, dendritic cell; , toll‐like receptor (TLR); , receptor of the complement sytem; ROS, reactive oxygen species; RNS, reactive nitrogen species; Nrf2, Nuclear factor (erythroid‐derived 2)‐like 2; NF‐κB, nuclear factor kappa B. Arrows: dotted line, possible influence; broken line, migration; full line, polarization/differentiation.

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Toxicology and Regulatory Issues in Nanomedicine > Toxicology of Nanomaterials
Nanotechnology Approaches to Biology > Nanoscale Systems in Biology

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