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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Effect of toluene diisocyanate and its corresponding amines on viability and growth of human lung fibroblasts in culture.

Toluene diisocyanate (TDI) is a highly volatile chemical known to cause occupational asthma in exposed workers. TDI-induced asthma is associated with airway epithelium injury and repair, and subepithelial fibrosis. We investigated the effect of TDI and its hydrolysis products, the 2,4- and 2,6-toluenediamines (TDA), on viability and growth of human lung fibroblasts (HLFs) in culture, using a tetrazolium-based cell viability assay. The effects of increasing concentrations of each of these chemicals were evaluated on quiescent cells seeded at two densities (2500 and 5000 cells/well) and treated for 24 or 48 h. TDI (10(-4)-10(-5) mol/L, as a mixture of 80% 2,4-TDI and 20% 2,6-TDI) exhibited a partial but significant cytotoxic effect (10-24%, p<0.05) on HLFs. This effect was observed at both cell densities, and was time- and concentration-dependent. 2,4-TDA, at lower concentrations (10(-8)-10(-6) mol/L) applied for 48 h, also partially reduced HLF viability (10-15%, p<0.05), whereas it tended to trigger cell growth at concentrations higher than 10(-5) mol/L. 2,6-TDA exhibited both a cytotoxic and a proliferative effect on HLFs that depended on concentration, time of exposure and cell culture density. Significant cytotoxicity was only observed after 24 h of treatment with 10(-7)-10(-6) mol/L 2,6-TDA, and reached greater intensity in cells cultured at the highest density. In contrast, 2,6-TDA stimulated HLF growth only after 48 h of incubation at 10(-4) mol/L on cells cultured at the lowest density. Taken together, our results showed that TDI and 2,4-TDA somewhat decreased HLF viability, whereas 2,6-TDA appeared to exhibit both a cytotoxic and a growth stimulatory effect on these cells. TDI and 2,4-TDA are thus suggested to contribute to airway epithelium damage associated with TDI-induced asthma, whereas 2,6-TDA might either trigger epithelial damage or induce cell proliferation that could contribute to epithelium repair or subepithelial fibrosis.[1]


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