Inflammatory responses to the occupational inhalation of metal fume


Palmer, K.T., Neill-Love, R., Poole, J.R., Coggon, D., Frew, A.J., Linaker, C.H. and Shute, J.K. (2006) Inflammatory responses to the occupational inhalation of metal fume. European Respiratory Journal, 27, (2), 366-373. (doi:10.1183/09031936.06.00053205).

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Description/Abstract

Occupational exposure to metal fume promotes a reversible increase in the risk of pneumonia, but by mechanisms which are unclear. To investigate, the current authors measured various markers of host defence function in welders and nonwelders.

Induced sputum and venous blood samples were collected from 27 welders with regular longterm exposure to ferrous metal fume and 31 unexposed matched controls. In sputum, the present
authors measured cell counts, the soluble and cellular iron concentration, and levels of interleukin-8, tumour necrosis factor-a, myeloperoxidase, matrix metalloproteinase-9, immunoglobulin
(Ig)A, a2-macroglobulin and unsaturated iron-binding capacity. Blood samples were assayed for evidence of neutrophil activation and pneumococcal IgG antibodies.

Welders had significantly higher iron levels and a substantially lower unsaturated iron-binding capacity in their sputum, but, despite a high iron challenge, there was a noteworthy absence of an inflammatory response. Only blood counts of eosinophils and basophils were significantly related to the extent of welding. Weak nonsignificant trends were observed for several other measures, consistent with low-grade priming of neutrophils.

In conclusion, these data suggest that chronic exposure to metal fume blunts responsiveness to inhaled particulate matter. However, the mechanism behind the lack of detectable local inflammatory response requires further investigation.

Item Type: Article
ISSNs: 0903-1936 (print)
Related URLs:
Keywords: inflammation, metal fume, occupational, pneumonia, welding
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Divisions: University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Medicine > Infection, Inflammation and Repair
University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Medicine > Community Clinical Sciences
ePrint ID: 24453
Date Deposited: 29 Mar 2006
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2014 18:13
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/24453

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