Influence of fibre length, dissolution and biopersistence on the production of mesothelioma in the rat peritoneal cavity.
A range of respirable man-made mineral fibres were tested for evidence of carcinogenicity by injection into the peritoneal cavity of male SPF Wistar rats; and differences in carcinogenicity were related to the dimensions and biopersistence of the injected fibres. The fibres tested included an amosite asbestos, a silicon carbide whisker, a special purpose glass microfibre, and a range of other man-made vitreous fibres (MMVFs) and refractory ceramic fibres (RCFs) from the TIMA fibre repository. The injected dose of each was designed as the estimated mass required to contain 10(9) fibres > 5 microns in length, as determined by optical microscopy. The numbers of long fibres (> 15 microns) contained in these doses ranged across fibres from 0.1 x 10(9) to 0.8 x 10(9) fibres; the number of long fibres thinner than 0.95 micron ranged from 0.015 x 10(9) to 0.4 x 10(9). The treatment groups contained between 18 and 24 animals. Animals were killed when they showed signs of debilitation. At autopsy, the diagnosis of mesothelioma was usually obvious macroscopically. Otherwise, histological examination of peritoneal organs was used to search for early tumour development. Judged by median survival time, four of the fibre types, in the doses administered, presented higher mesothelioma activity than amosite asbestos. The other fibres tested were less carcinogenic than the amosite. Only a ceramic material derived by extreme heating to simulate the effect of furnace or oven conditions, produced no mesotheliomas. Attempts were made, using regression models, to relate these differences to fibre dimensions and to measures of durability from separate experiments. The results pointed principally to a link with the injected numbers of fibres > 20 microns in length and with biopersistence in the rat lung of fibres longer than 5 microns. Improved quantification of the relative importance of fibre dimensions and biopersistence indices requires experimentation with a range of doses. (+info)
Depletion of glutathione and ascorbate in lung lining fluid by respirable fibres.
OBJECTIVE: The use of synthetic vitreous fibres has increased along with a decline in the utilisation of asbestos. There remains concern that these synthetic fibres pose a health risk to workers because of the generation of respirable fibres which can enter the lung and cause adverse health effects. An improved understanding of the mechanism of fibre pathogenicity should allow more rational short-term testing regimes for new fibres as they are developed. We hypothesised that carcinogenic fibres have greater free radical activity compared with non-carcinogenic fibres and that they contribute to disease by causing oxidative stress in the lung. We examined a panel of respirable fibres, designated as being carcinogenic or non-carcinogenic based on previous animal studies for ability to deplete antioxidants from lung lining fluid. METHODS: On the basis of inhalation studies, a panel of fibres was divided into three carcinogenic fibres-amosite asbestos, silicon carbide, and refractory ceramic fibre 1 (RCF1) and three non-carcinogenic fibres-man-made vitreous fibre 10 (a glass fibre MMVF10), Code 100/475 glass fibre, and refractory ceramic fibre 4 (RCF4). We measured the levels of glutathione (GSH) and ascorbate, two antioxidants present in lung lining fluid (LLF) after fibre treatment. All of the experiments were carried out at equal fibre number. RESULTS: Fibres had the ability to deplete both GSH and ascorbate from both LLF and pure solutions, an effect which was fibre number dependent. The greatest depletion of antioxidants was observed with the two non-carcinogenic glass fibres, and this effect was observed when A549 lung epithelial cells were treated with fibres. CONCLUSIONS: Our results show that antioxidant depletion in cell free solution and lung lining fluid solely is not a simple indicator of the ability of fibres to cause lung pathology and that other biological events in the lung are involved. (+info)
Magnetometric evaluation for the effects of silicon carbide whiskers on alveolar macrophages.
Alveolar macrophages are thought to play an important role in fibrogenesis in the lungs caused by various types of exposure to dust. In this experiment, we evaluated the effect of silicon carbide whiskers (SiC) on alveolar macrophages mainly by unique magnetometry and also by established methods such as lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity, apoptosis measurement and morphological observations. Alveolar macrophages obtained from Syrian golden hamsters by bronchoalveolar lavages were exposed in vitro to Fe3O4 for 18 hours as an indicator for magnetometry and SiC for experiments. A rapid decrease of the remanent magnetic field, so called "relaxation", was observed after cessation of an external magnetic field in macrophages phagocytizing Fe3O4 alone, while relaxation was delayed in those concurrently exposed to SiC. Release of LDH from SiC-exposed macrophages into the medium was not significantly higher than the controls, but it increased dose-dependently. Apoptosis was recognized in macrophages exposed to 60 micrograms/ml of SiC by the DNA ladder detection method and morphological observations. Electron microscopic examination revealed irregular forms of nuclei and organellas in macrophages exposed to SiC. Magnetometry, LDH release and electron microscopic observation indicated mild cytotoxicity of SiC to alveolar macrophages. (+info)
Origin of nanomechanical cantilever motion generated from biomolecular interactions.
Generation of nanomechanical cantilever motion from biomolecular interactions can have wide applications, ranging from high-throughput biomolecular detection to bioactuation. Although it has been suggested that such motion is caused by changes in surface stress of a cantilever beam, the origin of the surface-stress change has so far not been elucidated. By using DNA hybridization experiments, we show that the origin of motion lies in the interplay between changes in configurational entropy and intermolecular energetics induced by specific biomolecular interactions. By controlling entropy change during DNA hybridization, the direction of cantilever motion can be manipulated. These thermodynamic principles were also used to explain the origin of motion generated from protein-ligand binding. (+info)
Neutron reflection from a dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine monolayer adsorbed on a hydrophobised silicon support.
Neutron specular reflection has been used to study the structure of a monolayer of dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (DMPC) deposited using the Langmuir-Blodgett technique onto a silicon oxide substrate. A self-assembled monolayer of octadecyltrichlorosilane with a deuterated alkyl chain (d-OTS) had been previously bonded onto this silicon oxide substrate which rendered it hydrophobic. In the system under study, the alkyl chains of the phospholipid were found to penetrate extensively into the d-OTS layer with the mixed chain region (d-OTS and DMPC) having a total thickness of 30.5 A. This mixed region was divided into two halves for analysis; the 'lower half' (nearest to the substrate surface) was found to comprise anchored d-OTS chains mixed with the lipid chains in the volume ratio approx. 0.60:0.35. The corresponding volume ratio in the 'upper half' of this region was determined to be approx. 0.50:0.40. The thicknesses of these regions were found to be 17.9 A (incorporating approx. 6% solvent) and 12.6 A (incorporating approx. 9% solvent) for the lower and upper halves respectively. The DMPC head groups were found to be confined to the most external layer (furthest away from the silicon substrate). This layer was found to have a thickness of 9.4 A and included a small fraction of the lipid alkyl chains with approx. 47% solvent. (+info)
Short term effect of silicon carbide whisker to the rat lung.
We studied the short-term effect of silicon carbide whisker (SiCW) in vivo by instillation and inhalation to the rat lung. SiCW was instilled low dose (2 mg/0.5 ml saline) or high dose (10 mg/ 0.5 ml) intratracheally into the lungs of 25 rats. SiCW was also inhaled to another 25 rats at the average concentration of 10.4 mg/m3 for 1 month. In instillation study, the lung had focal alveolitis with the destruction of alveolar wall especially at 3 days after the instillation, and the lesion remained as an aggregated foci of SiCW at 6 months. The 'inflammation-score' of the instilled group by point counting method of the specimen correspondingly decreased gradually. In inhalation group, a minimum inflammatory change was observed. Collagen deposition in the aggregated foci of SiCW with accumulated alveolar macrophages and neutrophils was not progressive during the observed period. These findings suggest that SiCW may cause a minor effect to the rat lung in 6 months after exposure. (+info)
Cancer incidence among workers in the Norwegian silicon carbide industry.
The presence of silicon carbide (SiC) fibers in the SiC smelter work environment has suggested a possible cancer hazard. The authors studied cancer incidence among 2,620 men employed for more than 6 months in three Norwegian SiC smelters. Follow-up from 1953 to 1996 revealed an overall excess risk of lung cancer (standardized incidence ratio = 1.9, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.5, 2.3) and an elevated risk of stomach cancer (standardized incidence ratio = 1.5, 95% CI: 1.1, 2.0). Both standardized incidence ratio and Poisson regression analyses showed that lung cancer risk increased according to cumulative exposure to total dust, SiC fibers, SiC particles, and crystalline silica. The standardized incidence ratio for the upper SiC fiber exposure category was 3.5 (95% CI: 2.1, 5.6) when exposure was lagged by 20 years, while the Poisson regression analysis showed a rate ratio of 4.4 (95% CI: 2.1, 9.0). Smoking did not seem to be an important confounder. The excess risk of lung cancer may be explained by exposure to SiC fibers, but a strong correlation between the different exposures made it difficult to distinguish between them. (+info)
Silicon-based biosensors for rapid detection of protein or nucleic acid targets.
BACKGROUND: We developed a silicon-based biosensor that generates visual, qualitative results or quantitative results for the detection of protein or nucleic acid targets in a multiplex format. METHODS: Capture probes were immobilized either passively or covalently on the optically coated surface of the biosensor. Intermolecular interactions of the immobilized capture probe with specific target molecules were transduced into a molecular thin film. Thin films were generated by enzyme-catalyzed deposition in the vicinity of the surface-bound target. The increased thickness on the surface changed the apparent color of the biosensor by altering the interference pattern of reflected light. RESULTS: Cytokine detection was achieved in a 40-min multiplex assay. Detection limits were 4 ng/L for interleukin (IL)-6, 31 ng/L for IL1-beta, and 437 ng/L for interferon-gamma. In multianalyte experiments, cytokines were specifically detected with signal-to-noise ratios ranging from 15 to 80. With a modified optical surface, specificity was also demonstrated in a nucleic acid array with unambiguous discrimination of single-base changes in a 15-min assay. For homozygous wild-type and homozygous mutant samples, signal-to-noise ratios of approximately 100 were observed. Heterozygous samples yielded approximately equivalent signals for wild-type and mutant capture probes. CONCLUSIONS: The thin-film biosensor allows rapid, sensitive, and specific detection of protein or nucleic acid targets in an array format with results read visually or quantified with a charge-coupled device camera. This biosensor is suited for multianalyte detection in clinical diagnostic assays. (+info)