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Am J Pathol. 1981 Mar;102(3):314-23.

Pulmonary response and transmigration of inorganic fibers by inhalation exposure.


Rats, hamsters, and guinea pigs were exposed by inhalation to different concentrations of potassium octatitanate fibers. Following 3 months of exposure, the animals were sacrificed between the 15th and 24th month. The exposed animals showed dose-related dust deposition and pulmonary fibrosis mainly in the respiratory bronchiolar region. Most short fibers (less than 5 micrograms) were phagocytized by alveolar macrophages, but long fibers (greater than 10 micrograms) were phagocytized by foreign body giant cells. Dust-laden macrophages (dust cells) entered into the lumen of bronchial lymphatic or pulmonary blood vessels. Numerous dust cells were transported from the lung to the tracheobronchial and mediastinal lymph nodes where some dust cells penetrated into the blood or lymphatic circulation. Massive direct cell migration of the mediastinal adipose tissue from the lymph nodes occurred occasionally. Dust-laden giant cells were found only occasionally in the liver, and there was widespread migration of the fibers into other vital organs and tissues without any significant responses.

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