Several studies performed by intratracheal instillation showed that carbon nanotubes (CNT) induced pulmonary fibrosis, granulomas or inflammation. But, recently, two inhalation studies did not observed such pathological phenomena and suggest that granulomas could be due to the instillation of unbreathable agglomerates. In a previous study, we have described a simple method (using albumin as dispersing agent) which produced solutions containing more than 80% of agglomerate of breathable size. We report here results from intratracheal instillation of rats by 0, 1, 10 or 100
μg of MWCNT dispersed with albumin. After 1, 7, 30, 90, and 180 days, inflammation, apoptosis, fibrosis, respiratory parameters and granuloma formation were assessed. Results obtained by plethysmography, soluble collagen quantification, qRT-PCR and luminex measurement of cytokines expression and histopathological observation showed only evidence of apoptosis of alveolar macrophages. These result underline the importance of controlling MWCNT agglomerate size when exposing animals, through appropriate dispersion methods.