Elevation of rat pulmonary, hepatic and lung surfactant lipids by fly ash inhalation.
Fly ash contains many polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and genotoxic trace elements. In rats, fly ash exposure profoundly affects lung and liver histology. In the present study, the effect of fly ash inhalation on lung and liver lipids of rats was examined. Male Wistar strain rats were exposed daily to fly ash (0.27 +/- 0.01 mg/L air) in an inhalation chamber, 6 hr daily over a period of 15 days, and were killed on various days, i.e. 16, 30, 60, and 120. Fly ash inhalation significantly (P less than 0.05) increased total phospholipids (PL), phosphatidylcholine (PC) and phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) in lungs. PC and dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC) contents in microsomes and lung surfactant also were significantly (P less than 0.05) higher in rats exposed to fly ash compared to control group animals. Radiolabeled precursor incorporation studies indicated that fly ash induced the synthesis of PC and DPPC by both CDP-choline pathway and N-methylation of PE in lung microsomes and enhanced their secretion into lung surfactant. In liver, PC and PE contents were elevated significantly (P less than 0.05) by fly ash exposure on days 16 and 30 respectively. A similar elevation of PC was observed in hepatic microsomes; this increase was due to its increased synthesis. However, the increased synthesis of PC in liver occurred to a greater extent by the N-methylation pathway than by the CDP-choline pathway.
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