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Inhal Toxicol. 2008 Feb;20(3):227-43. doi: 10.1080/08958370701864235 .

Application of physiological computational fluid dynamics models to predict interspecies nasal dosimetry of inhaled acrolein.

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  • 1The Hamner Institutes for Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709-2137, USA.


Acrolein is a highly soluble and reactive aldehyde and is a potent upper-respiratory-tract irritant. Acrolein-induced nasal lesions in rodents include olfactory epithelial atrophy and inflammation, epithelial hyperplasia, and squamous metaplasia of the respiratory epithelium. Nasal uptake of inhaled acrolein in rats is moderate to high, and depends on inspiratory flow rate, exposure duration, and concentration. In this study, anatomically accurate three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models were used to simulate steady-state inspiratory airflow and to quantitatively predict acrolein tissue dose in rat and human nasal passages. A multilayered epithelial structure was included in the CFD models to incorporate clearance of inhaled acrolein by diffusion, blood flow, and first-order and saturable metabolic pathways. Kinetic parameters for these pathways were initially estimated by fitting a pharmacokinetic model with a similar epithelial structure to time-averaged acrolein nasal extraction data and were then further adjusted using the CFD model. Predicted air:tissue flux from the rat nasal CFD model compared well with the distribution of acrolein-induced nasal lesions from a subchronic acrolein inhalation study. These correlations were used to estimate a tissue dose-based no-observed-adverse-effect level (NOAEL) for inhaled acrolein. A human nasal CFD model was used to extrapolate effects in laboratory animals to human exposure conditions on the basis of localized tissue dose and tissue responses. Assuming that equivalent tissue dose will induce similar effects across species, a NOAEL human equivalent concentration for inhaled acrolein was estimated to be 8 ppb.

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