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Environ Res. 1987 Jun;43(1):142-56.

Cytotoxicity of the rare earth metals cerium, lanthanum, and neodymium in vitro: comparisons with cadmium in a pulmonary macrophage primary culture system.


The rare earth metals cerium, lanthanum, and neodymium each were evaluated in an in vitro cytotoxicity assay system using adult, male Sprague-Dawley rat pulmonary alveolar macrophages. Both the soluble chloride form of these metals and their insoluble metal oxides were studied. For comparison purposes, the cytotoxicities of cadmium chloride and cadmium oxide were also quantified in this test system. In general, regardless of the cytotoxicity parameter measured, i.e., cell viability, lysosomal enzyme leakage, or changes in cell surface morphology, cadmium was more toxic to these cells than were the rare earth metals. Of the rare earth metals studied, only lanthanum chloride (LC50 = 52 microM), cerium chloride (LC50 = 29 microM), and neodymium oxide (LC50 = 101 microM) displayed significant cytotoxicity in this test system. Cadmium chloride exhibited an LC50 value of 28 microM, whereas the LC50 value for cadmium oxide was found to be 15 microM. These findings suggest that rare earth metal fumes should be considered as cytotoxic to lung tissue and therefore potentially fibrogenic.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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