Pulmonary toxicity of Fe2O3, ZnFe2O4, NiFe2O4 and NiZnFe4O8 nanomaterials: Inflammation and DNA strand breaks

Niels Hadrup, Anne T. Saber, Zdenka O. Kyjovska, Nicklas R. Jacobsen, Minnamari Vippola, Essi Sarlin, Yaobo Ding, Otmar Schmid, Håkan Wallin, Keld A. Jensen, Ulla Vogel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
13 Downloads (Pure)


Exposure to metal oxide nanomaterials potentially occurs at the workplace. We investigated the toxicity of two Fe-oxides: Fe2O3 nanoparticles and nanorods; and three MFe2O4 spinels: NiZnFe4O8, ZnFe2O4, and NiFe2O4 nanoparticles. Mice were dosed 14, 43 or 128 μg by intratracheal instillation. Recovery periods were 1, 3, or 28 days. Inflammation – neutrophil influx into bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid – occurred for Fe2O3 rods (1 day), ZnFe2O4 (1, 3 days), NiFe2O4 (1, 3, 28 days), Fe2O3 (28 days) and NiZnFe4O8 (28 days). Conversion of mass-dose into specific surface-area-dose showed that inflammation correlated with deposited surface area and consequently, all these nanomaterials belong to the so-called low-solubility, low-toxicity class. Increased levels of DNA strand breaks were observed for both Fe2O3 particles and rods, in BAL cells three days post-exposure. To our knowledge, this is, besides magnetite (Fe3O4), the first study of the pulmonary toxicity of MFe2O4 spinel nanomaterials.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103303
Number of pages11
Early online date2019
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Iron
  • Metal oxides
  • Nanomaterial
  • Nickel
  • Pulmonary
  • Zinc

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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