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Res Rep Health Eff Inst. 1994 Oct;(68 Pt 1):1-75; discussion 77-97.

Pulmonary toxicity of inhaled diesel exhaust and carbon black in chronically exposed rats. Part I: Neoplastic and nonneoplastic lung lesions.

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Inhalation Toxicology Research Institute, Lovelace Biomedical and Environmental Research Institute, Albuquerque, NM.


This study compared the pulmonary carcinogenicities and selected noncancer effects produced by chronic exposure of rats at high rates to diesel exhaust and carbon black. The comparison was intended to provide insight into the likely importance of the mutagenic organic compounds associated with the soot portion of diesel exhaust in inducing pulmonary carcinogenicity in diesel exhaust-exposed rats. The role of the organic fraction has become important in judging the usefulness of the substantial data base on carcinogenicity in rats for predicting lung cancer risk for humans, and for determining the most appropriate method of extrapolating results across species and exposure concentrations. Rats were exposed chronically to either diesel exhaust or carbon black, which served as a surrogate for diesel exhaust soot with much reduced mutagenic activity associated with its organic fraction. The sequestration of particles in the lung and the induction of pulmonary neoplasia and non-neoplastic changes in the lung were compared in detail. Samples also were provided to collaborators to examine adduct formation in lung DNA and hemoglobin. Approximately 140 female and 140 male F344/N rats were exposed for 16 hours per day, 5 days per week for up to 24 months, beginning at eight weeks of age, to diesel exhaust or carbon black at 2.5 mg or at 6.5 mg particles/m3 of air, or to clean air as controls. The diesel exhaust was generated by light-duty engines burning certification fuel and operating on an urban-duty cycle. The carbon black was selected because it had particle size and surface area characteristics similar to those of diesel exhaust soot, but markedly less mutagenic activity associated with its organic fraction when analyzed using procedures typically used in studies of diesel soot. Rats were killed after 3, 6, 12, 18, or 23 months of exposure to measure lung and lung-associated lymph node burdens of particles, lung weight, bronchoalveolar lavage indicators of inflammation, DNA adducts in whole lung and alveolar type II cells, and chromosome injury in circulating lymphocytes, and to perform histopathologic assessment. In addition, after 3 and 18 months of chronic exposure, one group of rats was acutely exposed to radiolabeled carbon black particles or to fluorescent microspheres. These exposures were conducted to examine the clearance of radiolabeled particles and the sequestration of the fluorescent microspheres in the lungs. These experiments provided information on clearance overload and particle dosimetry. The growth characteristics of lung neoplasms also were examined by transplanting neoplastic cells into athymic mice.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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