Laulicht, Frida and Zoroddu, Maria Antonietta and Medici, Serenella and Peana, Massimiliano Francesco and Costa, Max (2014) Investigating the potential carcinogenic effects of chronic tungsten (VI) oxide exposure to immortalize human lung cells. In: SOT 2014: 53. Annual Meeting & ToxExpo of the Society of Toxicology: abstracts, March 23-27, 2014, Phoenix, Arizona., Oxford University Press. p. 345 (1297e). ISSN 1096-6080. Conference or Workshop Item.
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Rationale: Tungsten oxide (WO3) is an occupational exposure hazard. The primary route of WO3 exposure is inhalation and WO3 is known as a pulmonary irritant. This work investigated exposure of WO3 to immortalized human bronchial epithelial cells (Beas-2B) to investigate cytotoxicity and carcinogenic potential.
Experimental procedures: Insoluble WO3 particles were sonicated to reduce aggregation and create suspensions of WO3 particles small enough for Beas-2B cells to engulf (<10 microns in diameter). Beas-2B cells were chronically exposed to varying doses (0.25, 0.5, 1.0, 5.0, 10 and 15 μg/cm2) of WO3 for 6 weeks. Proliferation rate was measured; soft agar cell migration testing and scratch test assays were performed.
Results: After 2 weeks, Beas-2B cells with the highest doses of WO3 started to proliferate just as quickly as the cells that had low doses of WO3. After 6 weeks of WO3 exposure, in the control transformation there was an average of 8 colonies per soft agar well. In the lower doses (0.25-1.0 μg/cm2) there was an average of 25 colonies per well. In the higher doses (5.0- 15.0 μg/cm2) colonies ranged from 30 to 75 per well. Scratch testing revealed that WO3 treated cells migrated significantly more quickly than control transformed cells.
Conclusions: Chronic treatment of Beas-2B cells with WO3 induced transformation in the cells. Inhaled WO3 may not only be a lung irritant, but also a potential pulmonary carcinogen at high doses.
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