BackgroundPulmonary exposure to nanoparticles (NPs) may affect, in addition to pulmonary toxicity, the cardiovascular system such as procoagulant effects, vascular dysfunction and progression of atherosclerosis. However, only few studies have investigated hemostatic effects after pulmonary exposure.MethodsWe used Bmal1 (brain and muscle ARNT-like protein-1) knockout (Bmal1¿/¿) mice which have a disturbed circadian rhythm and procoagulant phenotype, to study the pulmonary and hemostatic toxicity of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) and zinc oxide (ZnO) NPs after subacute pulmonary exposure. Bmal1¿/¿ and wild-type (Bmal1+/+) mice were exposed via oropharyngeal aspiration, once a week, during 5 consecutive weeks, to a cumulative dose of 32 or 128 ¿g MWCNTs or 32 or 64 ¿g ZnO NPs.ResultsMWCNTs caused a pronounced inflammatory response in the lung with increased cell counts in the broncho-alveolar lavage and increased secretion of interleukin-1ß and cytokine-induced neutrophil chemo-attractant (KC), oxidative stress (increased ratio of oxidized versus reduced glutathione and decreased total glutathione) as well as anemic and procoagulant effects as evidenced by a decreased prothrombin time with increased fibrinogen concentrations and coagulation factor (F)VII. In contrast, the ZnO NPs seemed to suppress the inflammatory (decreased neutrophils in Bmal1¿/¿ mice) and oxidative response (increased total glutathione in Bmal1¿/¿ mice), but were also procoagulant with a significant increase of FVIII. The procoagulant effects, as well as the significant correlations between the pulmonary endpoints (inflammation and oxidative stress) and hemostasis parameters were more pronounced in Bmal1¿/¿ mice than in Bmal1+/+ mice.ConclusionsThe Bmal1¿/¿ mouse is a sensitive animal model to study the procoagulant effects of engineered NPs. The MWCNTs and ZnO NPs showed different pulmonary toxicity but both NPs induced procoagulant effects, suggesting different mechanisms of affecting hemostasis. However, the correlation analysis suggests a causal association between the observed pulmonary and procoagulant effects.