Crystalline silica, known as a causal substance of silicosis, has been carefully evaluated for its carcinogenicity and fibrogenicity. In this study, we instilled crystalline silica of two different size (S1.8 :1.80 μm (S.D. 2.0), S0.7 :0.74 μm (S.D. 1.5)) into the trachea of rats to evaluate the size effects of the particles on pulmonary inflammation. S1.8 and S0.7 samples were administered to rats by a single intratracheal instillation (2 mg/ 0.4 ml saline). At three days, 1 wk and 1, 3 and 6 months after the instillation, the blood, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF), and pulmonary tissues were analyzed. Six images per HE-stained section were digitally captured and examined by the point counting method (PCM). Polymorphonuclear leukocyte (PMN)-in-blood specimens and cytospin specimens from BALF were stained immunohistochemically with BrdU. At six months after the instillation, the effects on inflammatory cells in the pulmonary tissues and BALF tended to be more marked in the rats instilled with S1.8 than those instilled with S0.7. Particularly, clear differences were observed in the number of inflammatory cells in BALF. Even if the particles are of the same chemical composition, the results suggest that, their biological effects vary depending on their particle size. Therefore, when such particles are used in workplaces, strict control systems should be established according to the risks present by different sizes of particles.
2007 by the Japan Society for Occupational Health