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Environ Health Perspect. 1983 Nov;53:155-61.

In vitro approaches for determining mechanisms of toxicity and carcinogenicity by asbestos in the gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts.


Organ and cell cultures of gastrointestinal and tracheobronchial epithelium have been used to document both the interaction of asbestos with mucosal cells and the sequence of cellular events occurring after exposure of cells to fibers. The biological activity of various types of asbestos in vitro is related to surface charge, crystallization, and dimensional characteristics. These factors also influence adsorption of natural secretions and serum components to fibers, a process that ameliorates cytotoxicity. Although mechanistic studies at the cellular level are lacking using epithelial cells of the digestive tract, asbestos appears to elicit a constellation of morphologic and biochemical changes in tracheal epithelium that resemble effects of classical tumor promoters on target cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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