Pleural macrophage recruitment and activation in asbestos-induced pleural injury.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The pathogenesis of asbestos-induced pleural fibrosis is poorly understood. Moreover, there has been a long-standing controversy regarding the relative potential of different commercial types of asbestos to cause pleural disease. We postulated that inhaled asbestos fibers translocate to the pleural space where they stimulate the recruitment and activation of pleural macrophages. To test this hypothesis, and to determine whether there are differences between inhaled amphibole and serpentine asbestos, Fischer 344 rats were exposed by intermittent inhalation (6 hr/day for 5 days/week over 2 weeks) to either National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) crocidolite (average concentration 7.55 mg/m3) or NIEHS chrysotile fibers (average concentration 8.51 mg/m3). Comparisons were made with sham-exposed rats. The rats were sacrificed at 1 and 6 weeks after the cessation of exposure. More pleural macrophages were recovered at 1 and 6 weeks after crocidolite and chrysotile exposure than after sham exposure. Small numbers of crocidolite fibers (approximately 1 per 4000 cells) were detected in the pleural cell pellet of one crocidolite-exposed rat by scanning electron microscopy. Pleural macrophage supernatants were assayed for production of nitric oxide (NO) (by the Griess reaction) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) (by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay method). Significantly greater amounts of NO as well as TNF-alpha were generated by pleural macrophages at 1 and 6 weeks after either crocidolite or chrysotile inhalation than after sham exposure. Conceivably, translocation of asbestos fibers to the pleural space may provide a stimulus for persistent pleural space inflammation, cytokine production, and the generation of toxic oxygen and nitrogen radicals. Enhanced cytokine secretion within the pleural space may in turn upregulate adhesion molecule expression and the synthesis of extracellular matrix constituents by pleural mesothelial cells. Thus, our findings may have significance for the development of asbestos-induced pleural injury.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Choe, N; Tanaka, S; Xia, W; Hemenway, DR; Roggli, VL; Kagan, E

Published Date

  • September 1997

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 105 Suppl 5 / Suppl 5

Start / End Page

  • 1257 - 1260

PubMed ID

  • 9400734

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC1470154

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0091-6765

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1289/ehp.97105s51257


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States