Abstracts: The cell toxicity, hemolytic and clastogenic activity were examined in various kinds of asbestos and some asbestos substitues with reference to the their mineralogical and physicochemical characteristics. There were thirty-five fibrous and non-fibrous samples including UICC chrysotile, size-selected samples of UICC chrysotile, chrysotile altered by heating and grinding, Yamabe (Japan) chrysotile with long and short fibers, Coalinga (U.S. A.) chrysotile with short fibers, UICC crocidolite, amosite, and 19 non-asbestos samples such as, glass fibers, calcium silicates, sepiolites and some clay minerals. The cell toxicity and the hemolytic and clastogenic activity of asbestos were the strongest for chrysotile among all of the asbestos samples tested, and their strengths varied with fiber length and with the conditions of grinding and heating. These cellular effects of Yamabe chrysotile with long fibers and size-selected UICC chrysotile with long fibers were stronger than those of chrysotile of the same origin but with short fibers. These effects were weaker in chrysotile altered by heating and grinding. Among the asbestos substitutes, the cell toxicity, hemolytic and clastogenic activities of thin glass fibers were more marked than those of thick glass fibers. The four types of sepiolite were strongly hemolytic, but their cell toxicity and clastogenicity varied according to their grade of crystallinity and/or fiber size. These effects of calcium silicates and some clay minerals were generally low but varied with mineral species. In general, the cell toxicity, hemolytic and clastogenic activities of the asbestos substitutes tested here were mild compared with those of asbestos.
Exposure of isolated hepatocytes to a polychlorinated biphenyl mixture induced a rapid loss of cell viability. The effect was not dose-dependent. The biochemical effects in the cellular toxicity did not involve glutathione content, protein sulfhydryl groups and lipid peroxidation. A transient increase in cytosolic Ca2+ was observed after exposing the hep-atocytes to the polychlorinated biphenyl mixture. Our findings indicate that polychlorinated biphenyls are able to kill hepatocytes and suggest that elevation of cytosolic Ca2+ concentra-tion could be responsable of the toxicity.
The neurochemical effects of maternally administered cadmium (50 ppm through drinking water from 0 day of pregnancy) on the whole brain of offsprings exposed during gestation were studied in 7, 14 and 21 days old rats. The developmental pattern of body weight, protein, DNA and RNA contents in brain were not affected in Cd exposed pups of any age group. Brain weights were significantly reduced in exposed pups of postnatal age of 7 and 14 days but were comparble to controls in 21 days old pups. The content of Cd increased significantly in the brain of gestationally exposed pups of 7 days and remained almost stationary throughout the experimental period. The activity of Acetylcholinesterase, Na+, K+ -TPase, CNPase, 5'-Nucleotidase in the brain increased significantly from 7 to 21 days of age in control animals. In experimental pups, the activity of most of the enzymes was almost comparable to controls at 7 days of age except succinate dehydrogenase, which was significantly inhibited at 7, 14 and 21 days compared to controls. The activity of other enzymes was also significantly inhibited in the brain of experimental pups compared to controls of 21 days of age indicating marked retardation in the development of these enzymes. However, these changes had no correlation with the accumulation of Cd in the brain. These studies indicate that in utero exposure to Cd may retard the development of certain neurochemicals which may have long term implications on the brain functions.