Hypothesis: is lung disease after silicate inhalation caused by oxidant generation?
Inhaled silicate dusts may cause lung disease through their surface coordination of iron with subsequent oxidant generation via the Fenton reaction. Pneumoconiosis, irritant bronchitis, focal emphysema, and carcinoma may be produced by oxidants either directly through lipid peroxidation and protein inactivation, or indirectly by oxidant-mediated release of cytokines such as platelet-derived growth factor. The increased incidence of tuberculosis observed among silicate workers could be explained by accumulation of iron complexed by dust particles in the lung and made available to dormant mycobacteria as a virulence factor.
Ghio, AJ; Kennedy, TP; Schapira, RM; Crumbliss, AL; Hoidal, JR
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