Titanium dioxide nanoparticles (nanoTiO2) have been widely used as a photocatalyst in air and water cleaning. However, these nanoparticles inhalation can induce pulmonary toxicity and its mechanism is not fully understood. In this study we investigated the pulmonary toxicity of nanoTiO2 and its molecular pathogenesis. The adult male ICR mice were exposed to intratracheal single dose of 0.1 or 0.5 mg nanoTiO2 (19-21 nm) and lung tissues were collected at 3rd day, 1st wk, and 2nd wk for morphometric, microarray gene expression, and pathway analyses. NanoTiO2 can induce pulmonary emphysema, macrophages accumulation, extensive disruption of alveolar septa, type II pneumocyte hyperplasia, and epithelial cell apoptosis. NanoTiO2 induced differential expression of hundreds of genes include activation of pathways involved in cell cycle, apoptosis, chemokines, and complement cascades. In particular, nanoTiO2 up-regulates placenta growth factor (PlGF) and other chemokines (CXCL1, CXCL5, and CCL3) expressions that may cause pulmonary emphysema and alveolar epithelial cell apoptosis. Cultured human THP-1 cell-derived macrophages treated with nanoTiO2 in vitro also resulted in up-regulations of PlGF, CXCL1, CXCL5, and CCL3. These results indicated that nanoTiO2 can induce severe pulmonary emphysema, which may be caused by activation of PlGF and related inflammatory pathways.