Biological effects of naturally occurring and man-made fibres: in vitro cytotoxicity and mutagenesis in mammalian cells.
Cytotoxicity and mutagenicity of tremolite, erionite and the man-made ceramic (RCF-1) fibre were studied using the human-hamster hybrid A(L) cells. Results from these fibres were compared with those of UICC Rhodesian chrysotile fibres. The A(L) cell mutation assay, based on the S1 gene marker located on human chromosome 11, the only human chromosome contained in the hybrid cell, has been shown to be more sensitive than conventional assays in detecting deletion mutations. Tremolite, erionite and RCF-1 fibres were significantly less cytotoxic to A(L) cells than chrysotile. Mutagenesis studies at the HPRT locus revealed no significant mutant yield with any of these fibres. In contrast, both erionite and tremolite induced dose-dependent S1- mutations in fibre-exposed cells, with the former inducing a significantly higher mutant yield than the latter fibre type. On the other hand, RCF-1 fibres were largely non-mutagenic. At equitoxic doses (cell survival at approximately 0.7), erionite was found to be the most potent mutagen among the three fibres tested and at a level comparable to that of chrysotile fibres. These results indicate that RCF-1 fibres are non-genotoxic under the conditions used in the studies and suggest that the high mesothelioma incidence previously observed in hamster may either be a result of selective sensitivity of hamster pleura to fibre-induced chronic irritation or as a result of prolonged fibre treatment. Furthermore, the relatively high mutagenic potential for erionite is consistent with its documented carcinogenicity. (+info)
Magnetometric evaluation for the effect of chrysotile on alveolar macrophages.
Alveolar macrophages are thought to play an important role in fibrogenesis due to asbestos exposure. In this experiment, we evaluated the effect mainly by unique magnetometry and also by conventional methods such as lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity measurement and morphological observations. Alveolar macrophages obtained from Syrian golden hamsters by bronchoalveolar lavages were exposed 18 hours in vitro to Fe3O4 as an indicator for magnetometry and chrysotile for experiments. A rapid decrease of the remanent magnetic field, so called "relaxation", was observed after the cessation of an external magnetic field in macrophages phagocytizing Fe3O4 alone, while relaxation was delayed in those concurrently exposed to chrysotile. Since relaxation is thought due to the cytoskeleton-driven random rotation of phagosomes containing iron oxide particles, chrysotile is considered to interfere with the cytoskeletal function of macrophages. Release of LDH from chrysotile-exposed macrophages into the medium was recognized, but it was not significantly higher than the controls. Apoptosis was negligible in macrophages exposed to chrysotile by the DNA ladder detection, the terminal deoxynucleotidyltransferase-mediated dUTP-biotin nick end labeling method and morphological observations. Electron microscopical examinations revealed early necrotic changes in macrophages exposed to chrysotile. These findings indicate that cell magnetometry detects impaired cytoskeletal function due to in vitro exposure to chrysotile. (+info)
Comparative hazards of chrysotile asbestos and its substitutes: A European perspective.
Although the use of amphibole asbestos (crocidolite and amosite) has been banned in most European countries because of its known effects on the lung and pleura, chrysotile asbestos remains in use in a number of widely used products, notably asbestos cement and friction linings in vehicle brakes and clutches. A ban on chrysotile throughout the European Union for these remaining applications is currently under consideration, but this requires confidence in the safety of substitute materials. The main substitutes for the residual uses of chrysotile are p-aramid, polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), and cellulose fibers, and it is these materials that are evaluated here. Because it critically affects both exposure concentrations and deposition in the lung, diameter is a key determinant of the intrinsic hazard of a fiber; the propensity of a material to release fibers into the air is also important. It is generally accepted that to be pathogenic to the lung or pleura, fibers must be long, thin, and durable; fiber chemistry may also be significant. These basic principles are used in a pragmatic way to form a judgement on the relative safety of the substitute materials, taking into account what is known about their hazardous properties and also the potential for uncontrolled exposures during a lifetime of use (including disposal). We conclude that chrysotile asbestos is intrinsically more hazardous than p-aramid, PVA, or cellulose fibers and that its continued use in asbestos-cement products and friction materials is not justifiable in the face of available technically adequate substitutes. (+info)
Chrysotile, tremolite and fibrogenicity.
Recently published analyses have shown that the risks of mesothelioma and lung cancer in Quebec chrysotile miners and millers were related to estimated level of fibrous tremolite in the mines where they had worked. An analysis has therefore been made of radiographic changes in men who in 1965 were employed by companies in Thetford Mines where the same question could be examined for fibrogenicity. Of 294 men who met the necessary requirements, 129 had worked in six centrally located mines, where the tremolite content was thought to be high, 81 in 10 peripheral mines where it was thought to be low and 84 in both. The median prevalence of small parenchymal opacities (> or = 1/0) in chest radiographs read by six readers was higher among men ever than never employed in the central mines (13.6% against 7.4%), despite the fact that the mean cumulative exposure was lower in the former (430 mpcf.y vs 520 mpcf.y). After accounting by logistic regression for cigarette smoking, age, smoking-age interaction and cumulative exposure, the adjusted odds ratio for central mine employment was 2.44 (95% lower bound: 1.06). Together with other surveys of asbestos miners and millers, this study suggests that amphibole fibres, including tremolite, are more fibrogenic than chrysotile, perhaps to the same extent that they are carcinogenic, though the data available were not sufficient to address the latter question. (+info)
OBJECTIVES: In lungs of asbestos-exposed persons alveolar and interstitial macrophages are able to release genotoxic substances such as reactive oxygen intermediates. It is unknown whether reactive oxygen intermediates released by macrophages are able to induce DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) strand lesions in neighboring bronchial epithelial cells. METHODS: A co-culture (transwell) system was established which allows exposure of human blood monocytes cultured on a polycarbonate membrane within a distance of 1 mm of a monolayer of the bronchial epithelial cell line BEAS-2B. RESULTS: Exposure of blood monocytes to chrysotile B (100 microg/10(6)cells) caused an up to 2.8-fold increase in DNA strand lesions in co-cultured BEAS-2B cells measured by alkaline elution when compared with the levels of control cells after 1, 3, 24, and 48 hours. The main DNA damage thus occurred as early as within 1 hour of incubation, corresponding to the time course of the release of reactive oxygen intermediates by blood monocytes determined by chemiluminescence. The maximum release of reactive oxygen intermediates (3.2-fold increase over control values) was measured after 30 minutes of exposure of blood monocytes to chrysotile B. The addition of catalase (200 U/ml) or desferoxamine (100 microM) to the culture medium blocked almost completely the induction of DNA strand lesions in this system (maximum 85%). CONCLUSIONS: Exposure of blood monocytes to chrysotile B results in an increase in the release of reactive oxygen intermediates and induces DNA strand lesions in neighboring bronchial epithelial cells. (+info)
Increased phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinase immunoreactivity associated with proliferative and morphologic lung alterations after chrysotile asbestos inhalation in mice.
Activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK) has been associated with the advent of asbestos-associated apoptosis and proliferation in mesothelial and alveolar epithelial cells and may be linked to the development of pulmonary fibrosis. The objective of studies here was to characterize the development of inflammation, cellular proliferation, and fibrosis in asbestos-exposed C57Bl/6 mice in relationship to patterns of ERK phosphorylation. Inflammation occurred after 10 and 20 days of asbestos exposure as evidenced by increases in total protein and neutrophils in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. Increases in cell proliferation were observed at 30 days in bronchiolar epithelia and at 4, 14, and 30 days in the alveolar compartment of the lung. Trichrome-positive focal lesions of pulmonary fibrosis developed at 30 days in the absence of elevations in lung hydroxyproline or procollagen mRNA levels. Striking increases in ERK phosphorylation were observed within pulmonary epithelial cells at sites of developing fibrotic lesions after 14 and 30 days of inhalation. In addition to characterizing a murine inhalation model of asbestosis, we provide the first evidence showing activation of ERK signaling within lung epithelium in vivo, following inhalation of asbestos fibers. (+info)
Vitronectin adsorption to chrysotile asbestos increases fiber phagocytosis and toxicity for mesothelial cells.
Biological modification of asbestos fibers can alter their interaction with target cells. We have shown that vitronectin (VN), a major adhesive protein in serum, adsorbs to crocidolite asbestos and increases fiber phagocytosis by mesothelial cells via integrins. Because chrysotile asbestos differs significantly from crocidolite in charge and shape, we asked whether VN would also adsorb to chrysotile asbestos and increase its toxicity for mesothelial cells. We found that VN, either from purified solutions or from serum, adsorbed to chrysotile but at a lower amount per surface area than to crocidolite. Nevertheless, VN coating increased the phagocytosis of chrysotile as well as of crocidolite asbestos. VN coating of both chrysotile and crocidolite, but not of glass beads, increased intracellular oxidation and apoptosis of mesothelial cells. The additional apoptosis could be blocked by integrin-ligand blockade with arginine-glycine-aspartic acid peptides, confirming a role for integrins in the fiber-induced toxicity. We conclude that VN increases the phagocytosis of chrysotile as well as of crocidolite asbestos and that phagocytosis is important in fiber-induced toxicity for mesothelial cells. (+info)
Differentially expressed genes in asbestos-induced tumorigenic human bronchial epithelial cells: implication for mechanism.
Although exposure to asbestos fibers is associated with the development of lung cancer, the underlying mechanism(s) remains unclear. Using human papillomavirus-immortalized human bronchial epithelial (BEP2D) cells, we previously showed that UICC chrysotiles can malignantly transform these cells in a stepwise fashion before they become tumorigenic in nude mice. In the present study we used cDNA expression arrays to screen differentially expressed genes among the tumorigenic cells. A total of 15 genes were identified, 11 of which were further confirmed by northern blot. Expression levels of these genes were then determined among transformed BEP2D cells at different stages of the neoplastic process, including non-tumorigenic cells that were resistant to serum-induced terminal differentiation, early and late passage transformed BEP2D cells, five representative tumor cell lines and fused tumorigenic-control cell lines which were no longer tumorigenic. A consistent 2- to 3-fold down-regulation of the DCC (deleted in colon cancer), Ku70 and heat shock protein 27 genes were detected in all the independently generated tumor cell lines while expression levels in early transformants as well as in the fusion cell lines remained normal. In contrast, all the tumor cell lines examined demonstrated 2- to 4-fold overexpression of the insulin receptor and its signal transduction genes. Differential expression of these genes was completely restored in the fusion cell lines examined. No alteration in c-jun or EGF receptor expression was found in any of the cell lines. Our data suggest that activation of the insulin receptor pathway and inactivation of DCC and Ku70 may cooperate in malignant transformation of BEP2D cells induced by asbestos. (+info)