Asbestos fibers, such as chrysotile and crocidolite, are known to have cytotoxic effects on different cell types. In vivo exposure to asbestos fibers can induce both fibrotic and malignant lung diseases , however, the mechanisms linking exposure to the subsequent development of the diseases are unknown. Numerous investigations suggest the involvement of reactive oxygen species (ROS). ROS are known to damage biological macromolecules including proteins, cell membrane lipids and nucleic acids; alterations of these essential cellular components can alter cell function and can drive the cell to neoplastic transformation or to cell death. Because the mitochondrial respiratory chain is an important source of ROS and RNS (reactive nitogen species) in the cells, we have investigated the effects of aqueous extracts of asbestos (natural and synthetic) fibers on some mitochondrial activities. Our data show that crocidolite fibers release substances in solution that may interfere directly with the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase complex. Moreover, the calcium ions released from these fibers induce opening of the permeability transition pore of the inner membrane leading to a possible cytotoxic effect due to the release of apoptotic factors normally localized in the mitochondrial intermembrane space. In addition, crocidolite extracts enhance the mitochondrial production of ROS. No significant biochemical effects are exerted by chrysotile, either natural or synthetic, on isolated mitochondria. Nevertheless, all asbestos fibers tested induce morphological alterations visualized by transmission electron microscopy and morphometric analysis.

Mitochondrial changes induced by natural and synthetic asbestos fibers: studies on isolated mitochondria

BERGAMINI, CHRISTIAN;FATO, ROMANA;FORESTI, ELISABETTA;LESCI, ISIDORO GIORGIO;ROVERI, NORBERTO;LENAZ, GIORGIO
2007

Abstract

Asbestos fibers, such as chrysotile and crocidolite, are known to have cytotoxic effects on different cell types. In vivo exposure to asbestos fibers can induce both fibrotic and malignant lung diseases , however, the mechanisms linking exposure to the subsequent development of the diseases are unknown. Numerous investigations suggest the involvement of reactive oxygen species (ROS). ROS are known to damage biological macromolecules including proteins, cell membrane lipids and nucleic acids; alterations of these essential cellular components can alter cell function and can drive the cell to neoplastic transformation or to cell death. Because the mitochondrial respiratory chain is an important source of ROS and RNS (reactive nitogen species) in the cells, we have investigated the effects of aqueous extracts of asbestos (natural and synthetic) fibers on some mitochondrial activities. Our data show that crocidolite fibers release substances in solution that may interfere directly with the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase complex. Moreover, the calcium ions released from these fibers induce opening of the permeability transition pore of the inner membrane leading to a possible cytotoxic effect due to the release of apoptotic factors normally localized in the mitochondrial intermembrane space. In addition, crocidolite extracts enhance the mitochondrial production of ROS. No significant biochemical effects are exerted by chrysotile, either natural or synthetic, on isolated mitochondria. Nevertheless, all asbestos fibers tested induce morphological alterations visualized by transmission electron microscopy and morphometric analysis.
CELLULAR AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY
Bergamini C.; Fato R.; Biagini G.; Pugnaloni A.; Giantomassi F.; Foresti E.; Lesci G.I.; Roveri N.; Lenaz G.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/52824
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