Personal exposure to dust, endotoxin and crystalline silica in California agriculture. (1/4158)

AIMS: The aim of this study was to measure personal exposure to dust, endotoxin and crystalline silica during various agricultural operations in California over a period of one year. METHODS: Ten farms were randomly selected in Yolo and Solano counties and workers were invited to wear personal sampling equipment to measure inhalable and respirable dust levels during various operations. The samples were analysed for endotoxin using the Limulus Amebocyte Lysate assay and crystalline silica content using X-ray diffraction. In total 142 inhalable samples and 144 respirable samples were collected. RESULTS: The measurements showed considerable difference in exposure levels between various operations, in particular for the inhalable fraction of the dust and the endotoxin. Machine harvesting of tree crops (Geometric mean (GM) = 45.1 mg/m3) and vegetables (GM = 7.9 mg/m3), and cleaning of poultry houses (GM = 6.7 mg/m3) showed the highest inhalable dust levels. Cleaning of poultry houses also showed the highest inhalable endotoxin levels (GM = 1861 EU/m3). Respirable dust levels were generally low, except for machine harvesting of tree crops (GM = 2.8 mg/m3) and vegetables (GM = 0.9 mg/m3). Respirable endotoxin levels were also low. For the inhalable dust fraction, levels were reduced considerably when an enclosed cabin was present. The percentage of crystalline silica was overall higher in the respirable dust samples than the inhalable dust samples. CONCLUSIONS: Considerable differences exist in personal exposure levels to dust, endotoxin and crystalline silica during various agricultural operations in California agriculture with some operations showing very high levels.  (+info)

Hierarchical cluster analysis applied to workers' exposures in fiberglass insulation manufacturing. (2/4158)

The objectives of this study were to explore the application of cluster analysis to the characterization of multiple exposures in industrial hygiene practice and to compare exposure groupings based on the result from cluster analysis with that based on non-measurement-based approaches commonly used in epidemiology. Cluster analysis was performed for 37 workers simultaneously exposed to three agents (endotoxin, phenolic compounds and formaldehyde) in fiberglass insulation manufacturing. Different clustering algorithms, including complete-linkage (or farthest-neighbor), single-linkage (or nearest-neighbor), group-average and model-based clustering approaches, were used to construct the tree structures from which clusters can be formed. Differences were observed between the exposure clusters constructed by these different clustering algorithms. When contrasting the exposure classification based on tree structures with that based on non-measurement-based information, the results indicate that the exposure clusters identified from the tree structures had little in common with the classification results from either the traditional exposure zone or the work group classification approach. In terms of the defining homogeneous exposure groups or from the standpoint of health risk, some toxicological normalization in the components of the exposure vector appears to be required in order to form meaningful exposure groupings from cluster analysis. Finally, it remains important to see if the lack of correspondence between exposure groups based on epidemiological classification and measurement data is a peculiarity of the data or a more general problem in multivariate exposure analysis.  (+info)

5'-Nucleotidase activity of mouse peritoneal macrophages. I. Synthesis and degradation in resident and inflammatory populations. (3/4158)

Mouse resident peritoneal macrophages display sufficient 5'-nucleotidase activity to hydrolyze 58 nm AMP/min per cell protein. This activity increases approximately 163 nm AMP/min per mg after 72 h in culture. The enzyme is renewed in unstimulated cells with a half-time of 13.9 h. The activity is not reduced by treatment of intact cells with a variety of proteolytic enzymes, including trypsin, pronase, urokinase, and plasmin. Cells obtained from an inflammatory exudate have diminished or absent levels of enzyme activity. Endotoxin-elicited cells display enzyme activitiy of 20.9 nm AMP/min per mg, while thioglycollate-stimulated macrophages have no detectable activity. The reduced level of activity in endotoxin-stimulated cells is due to their elevated rate of enzyme degradation, with a half-time of 6.9 h. Their rate of enzyme synthesis is essentially normal. No evidence for latent enzyme activity could be obtained in thioglycollate-stimulated cells, nor do these cells produce any inhibition of normal cell enzyme activity. Serum deprivation reduces the enzyme activity of resident cells to about 45% of control activity. These conditions do not significantly affect the rate of enzyme synthesis, but again are explainable by an increase in the rate of enzyme degradation. Pinocytic rate is elevated in endotoxin-stimulated cells which show a more rapid rate of enzyme degradation than unstimulated cells do. However, in serum-free conditions, the rate of enzyme degradation is doubled with no change in the pinocytic rate of the cells.  (+info)

Effect of sodium butyrate on lymphocyte activation. (4/4158)

Butyrate, in relatively low concentrations, has been shown to induce synthesis of enzymes, cause changes in cell morphology, and inhibit growth of a variety of mammalian cells in tissue culture (reviewed in [1]). In this communication, we report our observations on the effect of butyrate on lymphocyte activation. Butyrate completely and reversibly inhibits mitogen-induced blast formation. We present evidence that it does not interfere with the binding of mitogens, that it does not inhibit a number of the "early" reactions involved in activation, and that it does not affect ongoing DNA synthesis for an extended period of time. However, butyrate rapidly inhibits any increase in the rate of DNA synthesis.  (+info)

Macrophage plasminogen activator: induction by asbestos is blocked by anti-inflammatory steroids. (5/4158)

Intraperitoneal injection of asbestos fibres into mice induces the formation of exudates containing macrophages that produce plasminogen activator. Like-wise, in vitro addition of asbestos to macrophage cultures stimulates plasminogen activator secretion; the synthesis and secretion of lysozyme and lysosomal enzymes are not changed under these conditions. The enhanced secretion of plasminogen activator by macrophages exposed to asbestos is suppressed by low concentrations of anti-inflammatory steroids.  (+info)

Clindamycin suppresses endotoxin released by ceftazidime-treated Escherichia coli O55:B5 and subsequent production of tumor necrosis factor alpha and interleukin-1 beta. (6/4158)

Treatment of septicemia caused by Escherichia coli with ceftazidime (CAZ) may be associated with the development of septic shock due to the release of bacterial lipopolysaccharide. We examined the suppressive effect of clindamycin (CLDM) on CAZ-induced release of endotoxin by cultured E. coli and the subsequent production of inflammatory cytokines (tumor necrosis factor alpha [TNF-alpha] and interleukin-1 beta [IL-1 beta]). E. coli ATCC 12014 was incubated in inactivated horse serum with or without CLDM for 1, 4, or 18 h, followed by the addition of CAZ and collection of the culture supernatant at 0, 1, and 2 h. The concentration of endotoxin in each sample was measured by a chromogenic Limulus test. Another portion of the culture supernatant was added to THP-1 cell culture and incubated for 4 h, and the concentrations of TNF-alpha and IL-1 beta in the supernatant were measured by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. In the control group (no CLDM), CAZ administration resulted in significant increases in endotoxin, TNF-alpha, and IL-1 beta concentrations. Pretreatment of E. coli with CLDM for 4 or 18 h before the addition of CAZ significantly suppressed the concentrations of endotoxin, TNF-alpha, and IL-1 beta in a time-dependent manner. In addition, CAZ treatment transformed E. coli from rodshaped bacteria to filament-like structures, as determined by electron microscopy, while pretreatment with CLDM prevented these morphological changes. Our in vitro studies showed that CAZ-induced release of large quantities of endotoxin by E. coli could be suppressed by prior administration of CLDM.  (+info)

Fosfomycin alters lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammatory cytokine production in mice. (7/4158)

To determine the mechanisms of immunomodulating action of fosfomycin (FOF), we examined its effect on the production of inflammatory cytokines in mice injected with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Treatment with FOF significantly lowered the peak serum levels of tumor necrosis factor alpha and interleukin-1 beta, indicating that FOF alters inflammatory cytokine production after LPS stimulation.  (+info)

Overexpression of the Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) Cry2Aa2 protein in chloroplasts confers resistance to plants against susceptible and Bt-resistant insects. (8/4158)

Evolving levels of resistance in insects to the bioinsecticide Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) can be dramatically reduced through the genetic engineering of chloroplasts in plants. When transgenic tobacco leaves expressing Cry2Aa2 protoxin in chloroplasts were fed to susceptible, Cry1A-resistant (20,000- to 40,000-fold) and Cry2Aa2-resistant (330- to 393-fold) tobacco budworm Heliothis virescens, cotton bollworm Helicoverpa zea, and the beet armyworm Spodoptera exigua, 100% mortality was observed against all insect species and strains. Cry2Aa2 was chosen for this study because of its toxicity to many economically important insect pests, relatively low levels of cross-resistance against Cry1A-resistant insects, and its expression as a protoxin instead of a toxin because of its relatively small size (65 kDa). Southern blot analysis confirmed stable integration of cry2Aa2 into all of the chloroplast genomes (5, 000-10,000 copies per cell) of transgenic plants. Transformed tobacco leaves expressed Cry2Aa2 protoxin at levels between 2% and 3% of total soluble protein, 20- to 30-fold higher levels than current commercial nuclear transgenic plants. These results suggest that plants expressing high levels of a nonhomologous Bt protein should be able to overcome or at the very least, significantly delay, broad spectrum Bt-resistance development in the field.  (+info)