Title: Nanoscale transformations of amphiboles within human alveolar epithelial cells.
Authors: Vigliaturo, Ruggero; Jamnik, Maja; Dražić, Goran; Podobnik, Marjetka; Žnidarič, Magda Tušek; Ventura, Giancarlo Della; Redhammer, Günther J; Žnidaršič, Nada; Caserman, Simon; Gieré, Reto
Published In Sci Rep, (2022 Feb 02)
Abstract: Amphibole asbestos is related to lung fibrosis and several types of lung tumors. The disease-triggering mechanisms still challenge our diagnostic capabilities and are still far from being fully understood. The literature focuses primarily on the role and formation of asbestos bodies in lung tissues, but there is a distinct lack of studies on amphibole particles that have been internalized by alveolar epithelial cells (AECs). These internalized particles may directly interact with the cell nucleus and the organelles, exerting a synergistic action with asbestos bodies (AB) from a different location. Here we document the near-atomic- to nano-scale transformations induced by, and taking place within, AECs of three distinct amphiboles (anthophyllite, grunerite, "amosite") with different Fe-content and morphologic features. We show that: (i) an Fe-rich layer is formed on the internalized particles, (ii) particle grain boundaries are transformed abiotically by the internal chemical environment of AECs and/or by a biologically induced mineralization mechanism, (iii) the Fe-rich material produced on the particle surface does not contain large amounts of P, in stark contrast to extracellular ABs, and (iv) the iron in the Fe-rich layer is derived from the particle itself. Internalized particles and ABs follow two distinct formation mechanisms reaching different physicochemical end-states.
PubMed ID: 35110621
MeSH Terms: Alveolar Epithelial Cells/metabolism*; Alveolar Epithelial Cells/pathology; Asbestos, Amphibole/analysis*; Asbestos, Amphibole/metabolism*; Humans; Iron/metabolism*; Lung/metabolism*; Lung/pathology; Nanoparticles/chemistry*