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Effects of coal dust and diesel exhaust on immune competence in rats.

Mentnech MS; Lewis DM; Olenchock SA; Mull JC; Koller WA; Lewis TR
J Toxicol Environ Health 1984 Jan; 13(1):31-41
The effects of coal dust and diesel exhaust particulates on immune competence was studied in rats. Male Fisher-344-rats were exposed to 2 milligrams per cubic meter (mg/m3) coal dust, 2mg/m3 diesel exhaust particulates, 1mg/m3 coal dust plus 1mg/m3 diesel particulates, or filtered fresh air for 7 hours per day, 5 days per week, for 12 or 24 months. After 12 or 24 months, the animals were tested for immunocompetency by assaying antibody producing cells in the spleen 4 days after immunization with sheep erythrocytes and by monitoring the proliferative response of splenic T-lymphocytes to the mitogens concanavalin-A and phytohemagglutin. There were no statistically significant differences in the immunologic functions of the animals receiving only coal dust or diesel particulates or the combination compared with the controls. Comparison between the rats exposed for 12 or 24 months showed no significant differences. No difference was noted when the animals exposed for 12 or 24 months were combined for larger group sizes and evaluated. The authors conclude that 12 and 24 months exposure to diesel or coal particulates, individually or combined, does not cause any major alterations in the immunologic functions of rats.
NIOSH-Author; Immune-system; Animal-studies; Coal-dust; Diesel-exhausts; Respirable-dust; Airborne-particles; Dose-response; Biological-effects; Immunotoxins
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Journal Article
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Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health
Page last reviewed: December 28, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division