Generation of hydroxyl radical by crocidolite asbestos is proportional to surface [Fe3+].
Differences among fibrous silicates to effect injury in biological systems have been postulated to reflect oxidant generation by structural iron within the crystal lattice of amphiboles. Iron is also coordinated to the surface of all silicates in concentrations which depend on the density of acidic functional groups. We tested the hypothesis that oxidant generation by crocidolite is proportional to surface-complexed iron rather than variance in the lattice concentrations of this transition metal. Surface iron was quantified after its reduction to Fe2+ and chelation by citrate. Thiobarbituric acid (TBA) reactive products and dihydroxybenzoic acid products of salicylate were employed as indices of nonspecific oxidant and hydroxyl radical generation, respectively. Surface iron, TBA reactive products, and dihydroxybenzoic acid products all diminished after pretreatment of crocidolite with the metal chelator deferoxamine in concentrations varying from 0 to 250 mM. Inclusion of deferoxamine in the reaction mixture provided similar results of diminishing both TBA reactive products and dihydroxybenzoic acid generation. We conclude that oxidant generation by crocidolite is proportional to surface concentrations of iron which can be chelated using deferoxamine. The design of synthetic fibers without health effects after exposure will likely necessitate decreasing the number of surface acidic functional groups to diminish the capacity to complex iron (i.e., minimize the percentage SiO2).
Ghio, AJ; Zhang, J; Piantadosi, CA
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