The ultrafine (UF) component of airborne pollution may impair cardiovascular autonomic control, a high-risk condition for cardiovascular adverse events. Since engineered nanoparticles, such as single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) share physicochemical properties with UF, they might have similar adverse effects. Aim of the study was to evaluate arterial baroreflex function (BRF) at baseline, 24 h after the first instillation, immediately before the second one, and 2 weeks later, in adult Wystar-Kyoto conscious rats undergoing two intratracheal instillations of SWCNT (eight rats) or phosphate buffer saline (PBS) (five rats) at 2-week interval. During each session, 30-min continuous recording of arterial pressure and pulse interval was performed by a telemetered catheter implanted in the abdominal aorta of the rats. BRF was studied by the sequence technique. SWCNTs dispersed in PBS (1 mg/ml) were administered immediately after sonication (1 microg/g body weight). A significant decrease in the number of baroreflex sequences (from 498 +/- 27.1 at baseline to 287 +/- 40.2 at the recording performed after 4 weeks; P < 0.05) was observed in SWCNT-instilled rats, whereas no significant change was detected in controls. These data suggest that SWCNTs may alter the BRF, thus affecting the autonomic cardiovascular control regulation.
Legramante, J. M., Valentini, F., Magrini, A., Palleschi, G., Sacco, S., Iavicoli, I., Pallante, M., Moscone, D., Galante, A., Bergamaschi, E., Bergamaschi, A., Pietroiusti, A., Cardiac autonomic regulation after lung exposure to carbon nanotubes., <<Hum ExpToxicol>>, 2009; 28 (6-7): 369-375 [http://hdl.handle.net/10807/3413]