Reactive oxygen species damage drives cardiac and mitochondrial dysfunction following acute nano-titanium dioxide inhalation exposure

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Nanotechnology offers innovation in products from cosmetics to drug delivery, leading to increased engineered nanomaterial (ENM) exposure. Unfortunately, health impacts of ENM are not fully realized. Titanium Dioxide (TiO2) is among the most widely produced ENM due to its use in numerous applications. Extrapulmonary effects following pulmonary exposure have been identified and may involve reactive oxygen species (ROS). The goal of this study was to determine the extent of ROS involvement on cardiac function and the mitochondrion following nano-TiO2 exposure. To address this question, we utilized a transgenic mouse model with overexpression of a novel mitochondrially-targeted antioxidant enzyme (phospholipid hydroperoxide glutathione peroxidase; mPHGPx) which provides protection against oxidative stress to lipid membranes. MPHGPx mice and littermate controls were exposed to nano-TiO2 aerosols (Evonik, P25) to provide a calculated pulmonary deposition of 11μg/mouse. Twenty-four hours following exposure, we observed diastolic dysfunction as evidenced by E/A ratios greater than 2 and increased radial strain during diastole in wild-type mice (P<0.05 for both), indicative of restrictive filling. Overexpression of mPHGPx mitigated the contractile deficits resulting from nano-TiO2 exposure. To investigate the cellular mechanisms associated with the observed cardiac dysfunction, we focused our attention on the mitochondrion. We observed a significant increase in ROS production (P<0.05) and decreased mitochondrial respiratory function (P<0.05) following nano-TiO2 exposure which were attenuated in mPHGPx transgenic mice. In summary, nano-TiO2 inhalation exposure is associated with cardiac diastolic dysfunction and mitochondrial functional alterations, which can be mitigated by the overexpression of mPHGPx, suggesting ROS contribution in the development of contractile and bioenergetics dysfunction.