Long-term exposure to titanium dioxide nanoparticles promotes diet-induced obesity through exacerbating intestinal mucus layer damage and microbiota dysbiosis

Xiaoqiang Zhu, Lijun Zhao, Zhi Liu, Qibing Zhou, Yanhong Zhu, Yuliang Zhao, Xiangliang Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

Titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO2-NPs) are commonly used as food additives, including some high-fat foods that are risk factors for obesity. However, little is known about the effects of chronic TiO2-NPs digestion in the population on high fat diet (HFD). Herein, we reported that TiO2-NPs exacerbated HFD-induced obesity by disruption of mucus layer and alterations of gut microbiota. Oral intake of TiO2-NPs significantly increased body weight, liver weight, and amount of adipose tissues, especially in HFD-fed mice. Mechanistic studies revealed TiO2-NPs induced colonic mucus layer disruption and obesity-related microbiota dysbiosis. The damage on mucus was demonstrated through down-regulation of Muc2 gene and the absorption of mucin protein by TiO2-NPs. Consequently, mucus layer damage combined microbiota dysbiosis escalated the low-grade systemic inflammation, which exacerbated HFD-induced obesity. In contrast, gut microbiota depletion eliminated these effects, indicating gut microbiota were necessary for TiO2-NPs-induced inflammation and obesity. All the results stated the alarming role of TiO2-NPs in the HFD-driven obesity and emphasized the reevaluating the health impacts of nanoparticles commonly used in daily life, particularly, in susceptible population. [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1512-1522
Number of pages11
JournalNano Research
Volume14
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2021

Keywords

  • gut microbiota
  • mucus layer
  • nanosafety
  • obesity
  • titanium dioxide nanoparticles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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