In vivo accumulation of iron on crocidolite is associated with decrements in oxidant generation by the fiber.
In vivo exposures to fibrous silicates are characterized by the formation of asbestos bodies. These structures consist of the original fiber with a coating of inexact composition, but it will include iron and protein. We tested the hypothesis that this iron, accumulated on asbestos bodies, participates in electron transport and oxidant generation. Thirty-day-old, male guinea pigs were intratracheally instilled with 1.0 mg crocidolite. Six months later, the animals were anesthetized, euthanized, and the fibers were isolated from the lungs. Energy-dispersive x-ray analysis and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy confirmed an accumulation of metal onto the fiber after in vivo exposure. Stains for iron demonstrated a heterogeneous distribution of the metal on the silicate, while the uptake of a commercially available polyclonal antibody to ferritin localized to beaded enlargements along the coated fibers. Chelatable [Fe3+] associated with the fiber increased after in vivo exposure. However, oxidant generation by asbestos bodies was decreased relative to uncoated fibers despite the elevation in the concentration of metal associated with the crocidolite. We conclude that iron is accumulated onto fibers in the lungs of guinea pigs. Some portion of this accumulation of iron is in the form of ferritin, and this metal is not chemically reactive in oxidant production. Asbestos bodies may represent a successful attempt by the host to sequester the metal adsorbed to the surface of a fiber and diminish the oxidative challenge introduced by a fibrous silicate. Subsequently, the generation of free radicals by the fibrous silicate is diminished.
Ghio, AJ; LeFurgey, A; Roggli, VL
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