A risk assessment for exposure to grunerite asbestos (amosite) in an iron ore mine.
The potential for health risks to humans exposed to the asbestos minerals continues to be a public health concern. Although the production and use of the commercial amphibole asbestos minerals-grunerite (amosite) and riebeckite (crocidolite)-have been almost completely eliminated from world commerce, special opportunities for potentially significant exposures remain. Commercially viable deposits of grunerite asbestos are very rare, but it can occur as a gangue mineral in a limited part of a mine otherwise thought asbestos-free. This report describes such a situation, in which a very localized seam of grunerite asbestos was identified in an iron ore mine. The geological occurrence of the seam in the ore body is described, as well as the mineralogical character of the grunerite asbestos. The most relevant epidemiological studies of workers exposed to grunerite asbestos are used to gauge the hazards associated with the inhalation of this fibrous mineral. Both analytical transmission electron microscopy and phase-contrast optical microscopy were used to quantify the fibers present in the air during mining in the area with outcroppings of grunerite asbestos. Analytical transmission electron microscopy and continuous-scan x-ray diffraction were used to determine the type of asbestos fiber present. Knowing the level of the miner's exposures, we carried out a risk assessment by using a model developed for the Environmental Protection Agency. (+info)
Asbestos induces activator protein-1 transactivation in transgenic mice.
Activation of activator protein (AP-1) by crocidolite asbestos was examined in vitro in a JB6 P+ cell line stably transfected with AP-1-luciferase reporter plasmid and in vivo using AP-1-luciferase reporter transgenic mice. In in vitro studies, crocidolite asbestos caused a dose- and time-dependent induction of AP-1 activation in cultured JB6 cells. The elevated AP-1 activity persisted for at least 48 h. Crocidolite asbestos also induced AP-1 transactivation in the pulmonary and bronchial tissues of transgenic mice. AP-1 activation was observed at 2 days after intratracheal instillation of the mice with asbestos. At 3 days postexposure, AP-1 activation was elevated 10-fold in the lung tissue and 22-fold in bronchiolar tissue as compared with their controls. The induction of AP-1 activity by asbestos appeared to be mediated through the activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase family members, including extracellular signal-regulating protein kinase, Erk1 and Erk2. Aspirin inhibited asbestos-induced AP-1 activity in JB6 cells. Pretreatment of the mice with aspirin also inhibited asbestos-induced AP-1 activation in bronchiolar tissue. The data suggest that further investigation of the role of AP-1 activation in asbestos-induced cell proliferation and carcinogenesis is warranted. In addition, investigation of the potential therapeutic benefits of aspirin in the prevention/amelioration of asbestos-induced cancer is justified. (+info)
Asbestos exposure upregulates the adhesion of pleural leukocytes to pleural mesothelial cells via VCAM-1.
This study was designed to assess the effects of in vitro and in vivo asbestos exposure on the adhesion of rat pleural leukocytes (RPLs) labeled with the fluorochrome calcein AM to rat pleural mesothelial cells (RPMCs). Exposure of RPMCs for 24 h to either crocidolite or chrysotile fibers (1.25-10 microgram/cm(2)) increased the adhesion of RPLs to RPMCs in a dose-dependent fashion, an effect that was potentiated by interleukin-1beta. These findings were not observed with nonfibrogenic carbonyl iron particles. Crocidolite and chrysotile plus interleukin-1beta also upregulated vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 mRNA and protein expression in RPMCs, and the binding of RPL to asbestos-treated RPMCs was abrogated by anti-vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 antibody. PRLs exposed by intermittent inhalation to crocidolite for 2 wk manifested significantly greater binding to RPMCs than did RPLs from sham-exposed animals. The ability of asbestos fibers to upregulate RPL adhesion to RPMCs may play a role in the induction and/or potentiation of asbestos-induced pleural injury. (+info)
Asbestos-induced phosphorylation of epidermal growth factor receptor is linked to c-fos and apoptosis.
We examined the mechanisms of interaction of crocidolite asbestos fibers with the epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor (EGFR) and the role of the EGFR-extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) signaling pathway in early-response protooncogene (c-fos/c-jun) expression and apoptosis induced by asbestos in rat pleural mesothelial (RPM) cells. Asbestos fibers, but not the nonfibrous analog riebeckite, abolished binding of EGF to the EGFR. This was not due to a direct interaction of fibers with ligand, inasmuch as binding studies using fibers and EGF in the absence of membranes showed that EGF did not adsorb to the surface of asbestos fibers. Exposure of RPM cells to asbestos caused a greater than twofold increase in steady-state message and protein levels of EGFR (P < 0.05). The tyrphostin AG-1478, which inhibits the tyrosine kinase activity of the EGFR, but not the tyrphostin A-10, which does not affect EGFR activity, significantly ameliorated asbestos-induced increases in mRNA levels of c-fos but not of c-jun. Pretreatment of RPM cells with AG-1478 significantly reduced apoptosis in cells exposed to asbestos. Our findings suggest that asbestos-induced binding to EGFR initiates signaling pathways responsible for increased expression of the protooncogene c-fos and the development of apoptosis. The ability to block asbestos-induced elevations in c-fos mRNA levels and apoptosis by small-molecule inhibitors of EGFR phosphorylation may have therapeutic implications in asbestos-related diseases. (+info)
Role of oxyradicals in mutagenicity and DNA damage induced by crocidolite asbestos in mammalian cells.
Crocidolite, one of the most carcinogenic forms of asbestos, is mutagenic in cultured mammalian cells when assayed using a system that can detect multilocus deletions. In the present study, we examined the effect of buthionine sulfoximine (BSO) on mutation frequency and the formation of 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) in human-hamster hybrid (A(L)) cells induced by crocidolite fibers in an attempt to determine the role of oxyradicals in mediating fiber mutagenesis. BSO, a competitive inhibitor of the enzyme gamma-glutamyl cysteine synthetase, depleted nonprotein sulfhydryls to <5% of control within 24 h at a nonmutagenic dose of 25 microM. In cells pretreated with BSO for 24 h, the mutation yield at the CD59 locus induced by a 4 microg/cm2 dose of crocidolite fibers was increased by more than 3-fold (P < 0.05). Using immunoperoxidase staining with a monoclonal antibody specific for 8-OHdG, we demonstrated that crocidolite fibers induced a dose-dependent increase in oxidative DNA damage in A(L) cells. Furthermore, addition of DMSO, a well-established hydroxyl radical (OH*) scavenger, dramatically suppressed 8-OHdG induction (P < 0.005). Our results definitely demonstrate that reactive oxygen species mediate fiber-induced DNA damage mutagenesis in A(L) cells in a concentration-dependent manner. (+info)
Dielectric changes in membrane properties and cell interiors of human mesothelial cells in vitro after crocidolite asbestos exposure.
Asbestos induces cytogenetic and genotoxic effects in cultured cell lines in vitro. For further investigations of the fiber-induced cellular changes, electrorotation (ROT) measurements can be used to determine early changes of surface properties and dielectric cellular changes. In the present study, human mesothelial cells (HMC) were exposed to nontoxic concentrations of crocidolite asbestos (1 microg/cm(2)) for 12, 24, 30, 50, and 72 hr, and were investigated for changes in dielectric properties, morphologic and biochemical changes using ROT measurements, electron microscopy, and flow cytometry, respectively. The results of ROT measurements revealed slightly increased internal conductivity and decreased membrane conductance of HMC during the first 12 hr of exposure to crocidolite. This may be due to functional changes of ion channels of the cellular membrane. However, after exposures of >= 30 hr, reduced internal conductivity and increased membrane conductance of HMC occurred. These effects may be caused by permeabilization of the cell membrane and the leakage of ions into the surrounding medium. The membrane capacitance of HMC is always decreased during exposure of cells to crocidolite fibers. This decreased membrane capacitance may result from the observed reduction in the number of microvilli and from the shrinkage of cells as observed by electron microscopy and flow cytometry. Changes in composition of the plasma membrane were also observed after the labeling of phosphatidylserines (PS) on the cell surface. These observed changes can be related to apoptotic events. Whereas during the first 50 hr of exposure only a small number of HMC with increased exposure of PS on the cell surface was detected by flow cytometry, the dielectric properties of HMC showed marked changes during this time. Our results show that surface property changes of the cellular membrane of HMC as well as interior dielectric changes occur after the exposure of cells to crocidolite fibers. The observed changes are discussed in terms of complex combined cellular effects after amphibole asbestos exposure. (+info)
Mesothelial cell apoptosis is confirmed in vivo by morphological change in cytokeratin distribution.
Apoptosis of mesothelial cells has been demonstrated in vitro but not in vivo. To identify apoptotic pleural cells as mesothelial, we used cytokeratin as a marker and found a striking spheroid, aggregated appearance of cytokeratin in apparently apoptotic mesothelial cells. In in vitro studies, we found that the aggregated cytokeratin pattern correlated with apoptosis in primary mesothelial cells from mice, rabbits, and humans and was not seen with necrosis. In in vivo studies in mice, we then used this cytokeratin pattern to identify and quantitate apoptotic mesothelial cells. Apoptotic mesothelial cells were best harvested by pleural lavage, indicating that they were loosely adherent or nonadherent. Instillation of RPMI 1640 medium or wollastonite for 24 h induced apoptosis in 0.1 +/- 0. 1 (SE) and 1.0 +/- 0.7%, respectively, of all mesothelial cells recovered, whereas instillation of known apoptotic stimuli, crocidolite asbestos (25 microg) for 24 h or actinomycin D plus murine tumor necrosis factor-alpha for 12 h, induced apoptosis in 5. 1 +/- 0.5 and 22.4 +/- 4.5%, respectively (significantly greater than in control experiments, P < 0.05). By analysis of cytokeratin staining, mesothelial cell apoptosis has been confirmed in vivo. (+info)
Inhaled crocidolite mutagenicity in lung DNA.
We used transgenic mice carrying the lacI reporter gene to study the mutagenesis potential of asbestos crocidolite. The animals were exposed by nose-only inhalation to an aerosol containing 5.75 mg/m(3) crocidolite dust for 6 hr/day and 5 consecutive days. After 1, 4, and 12 weeks, we examined four end points: the cytology of bronchoalveolar lavage, the lung load of crocidolite, the hydrophobic DNA adducts, and the mutations in the lacI reporter gene. Twelve weeks after exposure, nearly 10% of the inhaled fibers remained in the lung (227 +/- 103 ng/mg lung). There was evidence of a typical inflammatory response consisting of multinucleate macrophages at weeks 4 and 12, whereas immediately after the exposure, we observed numerous polymorphonuclear neutrophils. The mutant frequency significatively increased during the fourth week after the exposure: 13.5 [time] 10(-5) in the exposed group versus 6. 9 10(-5) in the control group. The induction factor, defined by the ratio of checked mutants of exposed mice to checked mutants of control mice, was 1.96. The mutation spectrum of control lung DNA and exposed lung DNA was similar, suggesting the possible involvement of a DNA repair decrease in crocidolite-treated animals. We used the (32)P-postlabeling method and did not detect any increase of either 5 mC or bulky adduct in treated mice. This is the first study that demonstrates asbestos mutagenicity in vivo after a nose-only inhalation. (+info)