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Coal: response of cultured mammalian cells corresponds to the prevalence of coal workers pneumoconiosis.
Christian RT; Nelson J
Environ Res 1978 Apr; 15(2):232-241
Coal leachings from a mine where the incidence of coal workers pneumoconiosis was very high were added to the culture medium of mouse L-cells and were found to inhibit the cellular growth in direct proportion to the concentration of coal leachates. Coal particles were leached at physiologic temperature and pH with water, serum, or Eagle's tissue culture medium to simulate the in-vivo process. Leachates from a mine where the prevalence of pneumoconiosis was less also depressed growth of mouse cells but to a lesser extent. Growth was measured by total protein synthesis. Results were the same whether the coal was leached with water, serum or Eagle's medium. Dose response relationships were determined with Eagle's medium leachate. Leachates from the more toxic mine in a 1/100 dilution depressed the growth rate below 50% of the growth of controls, and a 1/10 dilution further depressed the cells. The cytotoxic effects of the leachings on cultured fibroblasts parallels the epidemiology of human pneumoconiosis in the two mines. Nickel (7440020) was leached into the culture medium and found to be in a higher concentration in the more toxic coal sample. Nickel may contribute to the cytotoxicity of coal if it is in the form of a compound with a toxicity equivalent to NiCl2 (7718549) and is present in sufficient quantity: Ni was found in greater concentrations in Pennsylvania coal than in Utah coal.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Environmental-pollution; Silicosis; Physiological-response; Cell-growth; Biosynthesis; Hazards
Environmental Health University of Cincinnati Eden & Bethesda Avenues Cincinnati, Ohio 45219
Issue of Publication
PA; UT; OH
University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio
Page last reviewed: December 11, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division