Copper oxide nanoparticle induces inflammatory response and mucus production via MAPK signaling in human bronchial epithelial cells

Je Won Ko, Ji Won Park, Na Rae Shin, Jae-Hong Kim, Young Kwon Cho, Dong Ho Shin, Jong Choon Kim, In Chul Lee, Sei Ryang Oh, Kyung Seop Ahn, In Sik Shin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)


Copper nanoparticles (CuONPs) can pose risks to industrial workers. With increase of its applications especially in electronic fields, it is necessary to assess the toxicity of CuONPs, including pulmonary toxicity. In this study, we investigated the effect of CuONPs on human epithelial cell line H292. CuONPs treatment caused a significant increase in IL-6 and IL-8 mRNA expression and protein levels in H292 cells in a concentration-dependent manner. The mRNA expression and protein levels of MUC5AC were consistent with those of proinflammatory mediators. Additionally, CuONPs treatment increased phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), Erk, JNK, and p-38 compared to that of control in a concentration-dependent manner. However, co-treatment with CuONPs and each MAPK inhibitor significantly decreased the phosphorylation of each MAPK, resulting in decreased mRNA expression and protein levels of proinflammatory mediators and MUC5AC compared to that in H292 cells only treated with CuONPs. In summary, CuONPs-induced inflammatory mediators and MUC5AC associated with MAPKs phosphorylation. Our results will provide useful information on CuONPs-induced pulmonary toxicity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-26
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Pharmacology
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Apr 1



  • Copper oxide nanoparticles
  • Inflammatory response
  • Mitogen-activated protein kinases
  • MUC5AC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Pharmacology

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