To study the biological effects of nickel-refining dust.
The cell phagocytosis, transformation activity, and cytotoxicity of the mouse NIH3T3 cells treated with nickel-refining dusts from two nickel-refining factories in China were observed, and the risk of carcinogenicity was studied.
(1) Two samples of nickel-refining dusts could be phagocytosed by mouse NIH3T3 cells with different phagocytizing rates of 69.0% and 39.0% at 100.000 micro g/ml, and 78.0% and 47.0% at 200.000 micro g/ml respectively. The relative clone formation rates at 12.500 micro g/ml to 100.000 micro g/ml were 71.1% to 3.9% and 84.4% to 9.1%, respectively. The cytotoxicity expressed by clone formation rate was similar to that of Ni(2)O(3), but higher than that of TiO(2) and lower than the positive control of N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitroso-guanidine (MNNG). (2) MNNG, Ni(2)O(3) and the two samples of nickel-refining dusts could induce morphological transformation in NIH3T3 cells. The transformation rate at 12.500 micro g/ml to 50.000 micro g/ml were 1.9% to 3.6% and 0.9% to 2.5% respectively in a dose-dependent manner. (3) The NIH3T3 cells treated by MNNG and nickel-refining dusts could induce Con A agglutination, and may form as clone in soft agar. This finding proved the reliability of the transformed clone.
The present study for the first time demonstrate that nickel-refining dusts have cell transformation activity. The findings provide a new experimental evidence for the carcinogenic risk of nickel-refining dusts, and for the aetiology of lung cancer in nickel-refining workers.
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