Biological effects of man-made mineral fibers (I)--Reactive oxygen species production and calcium homeostasis in alveolar macrophages.
10 types of standard mineral fiber samples (JFM fibers) were tested for their cytotoxicity in alveolar macrophages (AM) in vitro experiments, in which UICC chrysotile B was used as a positive control. The cytotoxicity included the production of superoxide anion radical and hydrogen peroxide, depletion of glutathione (GSH) and increase of intracellular free calcium. The results showed that chrysotile and most of the 10 mineral fibers could increase the production of superoxide anion and hydrogen peroxide, deplete the concentration of GSH and increase the level of free intracellular Ca2+ in AM. But all the effects of JFM fibers were lower than that induced by UICC chrysotile B. Although the cytotoxicity of JFM fibers were lower than that of asbestos, these mineral fibers should be used with highly care for workers in industries. (+info)
A clearance model of inhaled man-made fibers in rat lungs.
A clearance model of inhaled man-made fibers (MMFs) was developed, and the calculated fiber numbers and dimensions were compared with the experimental ones using a glass fiber (GF), ceramic fiber (RF1) and two potassium octatitanate whiskers (PT1, TW). If the translocation rate by macrophages is constant and the effect of dissolution and disintegration can be ignored, the fiber number is expected to decrease exponentially with time. In the experimental study, however, the fiber number did not always decrease exponentially. In the case of RF1, the fiber number decreased almost exponentially and the diameter decreased linearly with the time. The clearance rate constant of GF during 3 to 6 months after the end of one-month exposure was greater than that during 1 to 3 months. On the contrary, the clearance rate constants of PT1 and TW during 1 to 6 months were greater than next six months. The diameter and the length of GF did not change significantly. The fiber length of PT1 tends to become longer with time although the diameter did not change significantly. Our theoretical model gives a satisfactory fit to these experimental results. (+info)
A retired shipyard worker with rapidly progressive pulmonary interstitial fibrosis.
We present a case of progressive interstitial fibrosis in a retired shipyard worker who was exposed to asbestos during the postwar era of the late 1940s and 1950s, when asbestos exposures in the workplace were not regulated. Forty years later, at 63 years of age, the patient presented with restrictive lung disease. The patient was diagnosed with asbestos-related pleural disease and parenchymal asbestosis. He remained stable for the next 7 years, but then he began to manifest rapid clinical progression, which raised the possibility of an unusual variant of asbestosis, a concomitant interstitial process, or an unrelated disease. Lung biopsy was not undertaken because of the patient's low pulmonary reserve and limited treatment options. An empiric trial of oral steroids was initiated, but his pulmonary status continued to deteriorate and he died of pulmonary failure at 72 years of age. Many diseases result in pulmonary interstitial fibrosis. Ideally, open lung biopsy should be performed, but this procedure inevitably causes complications in many patients with end-stage restrictive lung disease. Furthermore, while the presence of asbestos bodies in tissue sections is a sensitive and specific marker of asbestos exposure, neither this finding nor any other charge is a marker indicative of asbestosis or the severity of asbestosis. With the enactment of the Asbestos Standard in the United States, asbestos exposures have been decreasing in this country. However, industries that produce asbestos products and wastes continue to expand in developing countries. Prevention of asbestos-related lung disease should be a global endeavor, and asbestos exposures should be regulated in both developed and developing countries. (+info)
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)
Mineral fibre sampling and size selection.
Potential health hazards due to fibre inhalation are only evaluated in a limited way by simple optical microscopy examination of the membrane filters on which the fibres have been collected. One must consider the amount of fibres deposited and persisting in the most vulnerable organ compartments. Exposure evaluated in this way must take account of the deposition efficiency and relative clearance efficiency of different regions of the respiratory tract, which depends mainly on the diameter and length distribution of the fibres. The fibre diameter roughly indicates the deposition site in the respiratory tract, while the length is mainly connected with toxicity. For these reasons, at international level, special samplers have been recently proposed, capable of distinguishing the fibre sizes, in order to separate the so-called 'thoracic fraction' (the total fibres which penetrate beyond the larynx) and the 'respirable fraction' (only the fibres reaching the non ciliated respiratory area), which represent the most interesting sizes as far as health effects are concerned. Our purpose in this context is to explore the feasibility of using the Inertial Spectrometer (INSPEC) as a sampler that separates the fibres according to their aerodynamic diameter. The optical and electron microscope observations of the samples demonstrate a satisfactory size separation of the fibres and alignment along the flow lines. Therefore, INSPEC is successful in restricting the microscopic analyses to the potentially noxious fibres and in assessing specific concentrations for each diameter interval. (+info)
Combined effect of cigarette smoke and mineral fibers on the gene expression of cytokine mRNA.
To investigate which parameters are stimulated by mineral fibers and whether cigarette smoke enhanced a fiber-induced response, we examined the level of cytokine mRNA from alveolar macrophages (AMs) and lungs of rats exposed to mineral fibers and cigarette smoke in vivo. Male Wistar rats were given a single intratracheal instillation of 2 mg of Union Internationale Contre le Cancer chrysotile or refractory ceramic fiber (RF1). The animals then inhaled a side stream of smoke 5 days per week for 4 weeks. The expression of manganese superoxide dismutase, inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), interleukin-1[alpha] (IL-1[alpha]), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and tumor necrosis factor-[alpha] (TNF[alpha]) mRNA from lipopolysaccharide-stimulated AMs and lungs of rats exposed to mineral fibers and/or cigarette smoke were assessed using semiquantitative reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. Exposure only to cigarette smoke increased in IL-1[alpha] mRNA levels in AMs. Chrysotile stimulated the expression of IL-1[alpha], TNF[alpha], and IL-6 in AMs, and the expression of bFGF in lungs. RF1 resulted in increased expression of IL-1[alpha] and TNF[alpha] in AMs. Cigarette smoke stimulated the gene expression of iNOS in AMs and IL-6 and bFGF in lungs treated with chrysotile; IL-1[alpha] in AMs and bFGF in lungs did the same in lungs with RF1. Among these cytokines, message levels of IL-1[alpha], iNOS, and bFGF were increased in rats stimulated with mineral fibers, and the stimulating effects of mineral fibers were enhanced by cigarette smoke. Therefore, IL-1[alpha], iNOS, and bFGF would be the possible parameters of the lung remodeling induced by mineral fibers. (+info)
Biopersistence and durability of nine mineral fibre types in rat lungs over 12 months.
The study objectives were to assess the ability of intratracheal injection methods to discriminate between nine fibre types in respect of pulmonary biopersistence, and to provide approximate estimates of relative biopersistence and durability for a study of general relationships with biological and toxicological responses. The test fibres included six samples of size-selected fibre types specially prepared for research purposes, two commercially available fibres, and amosite. A 1 mg dose of each fibre type was administered to rats by intratracheal injection. The relative biopersistence of fibres in different size categories was assessed from the changes in mean lung burden, as determined by electron microscopy, at 3 days and 1, 6 and 12 months after injection. The ability of the test materials to resist dissolution was measured in a parallel series of simple in vitro acellular experiments at two pHs and in a continuous flow dissolution test. The observed differences in the persistence of fibres of differing length recovered from rat lungs were consistent with the current hypothesis that short fibres are cleared by cellular processes and long fibres by dissolution and disintegration. Differences in persistence of long (> 20 microns) fibres were correlated with measured rates of dissolution in vitro. Differences in persistence among those fibre types also studied by others workers were consistent with their findings after inhalation and intratracheal injection. Overall, the differences in the biopersistences of the test fibres following intratracheal injection were sufficient to enable an examination of the relationship of biopersistence with other biological and toxicological responses. Biopersistence was influenced by both fibre dimensions and solubility. (+info)
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)