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Fate of Barium Sulfate Nanoparticles Deposited in the Lungs of Rats

: Molina, R.M.; Konduru, N.V.; Queiroz, P.M.; Figueroa, B.; Fu, D.; Ma-Hock, L.; Groeters, S.; Schaudien, D.; Brain, J.D.

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Scientific Reports 9 (2019), No.1, Art.8163, 13 pp.
ISSN: 2045-2322
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer ITEM ()

We have shown that barium [from BaSO4 nanoparticles (NPs)] was cleared from the lungs faster than other poorly soluble NPs and translocated mostly to bone. We now studied barium biokinetics in rats during Study 1: two-year inhalation exposure to 50 mg/m3 BaSO4 NP aerosols, and Study 2: single intratracheal (IT) instillation of increasing doses of BaSO4 NPs or BaCl2. Study 1 showed that lung barium content measured by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry increased during 360 days of BaSO4 NP aerosol exposures. An equilibrium was established from that time until 2 years. Barium concentrations in BaSO4-exposed animals were in the order (lungs > lymph nodes > hard bone > bone marrow > liver). In Study 2, there was an increase in lung barium post-IT instillation of BaSO4 NPs while barium from BaCl2 was mostly cleared by day 28. Transmission electron microscopy showed intact BaSO4 NPs in alveolar macrophages and type II epithelial cells, and in tracheobronchial lymph nodes. Using stimulated Raman scattering microscopy, specific BaSO4 Raman spectra were detected in BaSO4 NP-instilled lungs and not in other organs. Thus, we posit that barium from BaSO4 NPs translocates from the lungs mainly after dissolution. Barium ions are then incorporated mostly into the bone and other organs.