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1.  Observations on the lungs of vanadium workers. 
Out of a total of 79 employees at a factory making vanadium pentoxide from magnetite ore 63 were investigated by respiratory questionnaire, chest radiography, and tests of ventilatory function. The findings were compared with a reference group of 63 men, matched for age (to within two years) and for smoking habit (to within five cigarettes daily) selected from workers at a magnetite ore mine. Analysis of the ventilation tests showed no significant differences between the reference group and the men exposed to low concentrations of vanadium (0.01--0.04 mg/m3), despite previous exposure for an average of 11 years to concentrations in the range of 0.1 to 3.9 mg/m3. Complaint of wheezing was significantly more common among the workers exposed to vanadium than among their referents, but there were no other subjective differences between the groups. Localized fibrotic foci were reported in the radiographs of four reference cases and two men exposed to vanadium, but there were no cases of pneumoconiosis in either group.
PMCID: PMC1008752  PMID: 7448130
2.  Sodium metavanadate exhibits carcinogenic tendencies in vitro in immortalized human bronchial epithelial cells† 
Pentavalent vanadium compounds induce intracellular changes in vitro that are consistent with those of other carcinogenic substances. While there is no clear evidence that vanadium compounds cause cancer in humans, vanadium pentoxide causes lung cancer in rodents after long-term inhalation exposures and in turn IARC has categorized it as a group 2B possible human carcinogen. The goal of this study was to investigate the carcinogenicity of NaVO3 in the human immortalized bronchial epithelial cell line, Beas-2B. Cells were treated with 10 μM NaVO3 for 5 weeks, with or without recovery time, followed by gene expression microarray analysis. In a separate experiment, cells were exposed to 1–10 μM NaVO3 for 4 weeks and then grown in soft agar to test for anchorage-independent growth. A dose-dependent increase in the number of colonies was observed. In scratch tests, NaVO3-transformed clones could repair a wound faster than controls. In a gene expression microarray analysis of soft agar clones there were 2010 differentially expressed genes (DEG) (adjusted p-value ≤ 0.05) in NaVO3-transformed clones relative to control clones. DEG from this experiment were compared with the DEG of 5 week NaVO3 exposure with or without recovery, all with adjusted p-values < 0.05, and 469 genes were altered in the same direction for transformed clones, 5 week NaVO3-treated cells, and the recovered cells. The data from this study imply that chronic exposure to NaVO3 causes changes that are consistent with cellular transformation including anchorage-independent growth, enhanced migration ability, and gene expression changes that were likely epigenetically inherited.
PMCID: PMC3982314  PMID: 23963610
3.  First Steps Towards an Understanding of a Mode ofCarcinogenic Action for Vanadium Pentoxide 
Journal of Toxicologic Pathology  2011;24(3):149-162.
Inhalation of vanadium pentoxide clearly increases the incidence of alveolar/bronchiolar neoplasms in male and female B6C3F1 mice at all concentrations tested (1, 2 or 4 mg/m3), whereas responses in F344/N rats was, at most, ambiguous. While vanadium pentoxide is mutagenic in vitro and possibly in vivo in mice, this does not explain the species or site specificity of the neoplastic response. A nose-only inhalation study was conducted in female B6C3F1 mice (0, 0.25, 1 and 4 mg/m3, 6 h/day for 16 days) to explore histopathological, biochemical (α-tocopherol, glutathione and F2-isoprostane) and genetic (comet assays and 9 specific DNA-oxo-adducts) changes in the lungs. No treatment related histopathology was observed at 0.25 mg/m3. At 1 and 4 mg/m3, exposure-dependent increases were observed in lung weight, alveolar histiocytosis, sub-acute alveolitis and/or granulocytic infiltration and a generally time-dependent increased cell proliferation rate of histiocytes. Glutathione was slightly increased, whereas there were no consistent changes in α-tocopherol or 8-isoprostane F2α. There was no evidence for DNA strand breakage in lung or BAL cells, but there was an increase in 8-oxodGuo DNA lesions that could have been due to vanadium pentoxide induction of the lesions or inhibition of repair of spontaneous lesions. Thus, earlier reports of histopathological changes in the lungs after inhalation of vanadium pentoxide were confirmed, but no evidence has yet emerged for a genotoxic mode of action. Evidence is weak for oxidative stress playing any role in lung carcinogenesis at the lowest effective concentrations of vanadium pentoxide.
PMCID: PMC3234591  PMID: 22272055
comet assay; DNA lesions; mouse inhalation; oxidative stress; vanadium pentoxide
4.  Vanadium pentoxide inhalation 
This mini-review describes the toxic effects of vanadium pentoxide inhalation principally in the workplace and associated complications with breathing and respiration. Although there are some material safety data sheets available detailing the handling, hazards and toxicity of vanadium pentoxide, there are only two reviews listed in PubMed detailing its toxicity.
To collate information on the consequences of occupational inhalation exposure of vanadium pentoxide on physiological function and wellbeing.
Materials and Methods:
The criteria used in the current mini-review for selecting articles were adopted from proposed criteria in The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health. Articles were classified from an acute and chronic exposure and toxicity thrust.
The lungs are the principal route through which vanadium pentoxide enters the body. It can injure the lungs and bronchial airways possibly involving acute chemical pneumonotis, pulmonary edema and/or acute tracheobronchitis. It may adversely influence cardiac autonomic function. It stimulates the secretion of cytokines and chemokines by hepatocytes and disrupts mitochondria function. It disrupts the permeability of the epithelium and promotes access of inflammatory mediators to the underlying neuronal tissue causing injury and neuronal death. When renal brush border membrane vesicles are exposed to vanadium pentoxide, there is a time-dependent inhibition of citrate uptake and Na+ K+ ATPase in the membrane possibly contributing to nephrotoxicity. Exposure results in necrosis of spermatogonium, spermatocytes and Sertoli cells contributing to male infertility.
Vanadium pentoxide certainly has adverse effects on the health and the well-being and measures need to be taken to prevent hazardous exposure of the like.
PMCID: PMC3168171  PMID: 21957373
Breathing; dust; exposure; fumes; occupation; respiration; vanadium pentoxide
5.  Upper airway response in workers exposed to fuel oil ash: nasal lavage analysis. 
OBJECTIVES--Among other constituents, fuel oil ash contains vanadium pentoxide, a known respiratory irritant. Exposure to ambient vanadium pentoxide dust has been shown to produce irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat. The usefulness of nasal lavage in detecting an inflammatory response to exposure to fuel oil ash among 37 boilermakers and utility workers was investigated. METHODS--A baseline lavage was performed on the morning of the first day back to work after an average of 114 days away from work (range 36 hours to 1737 days). A lavage was performed after exposure on the morning three days after the baseline lavage. Exposure to respirable particulate matter of diameter < or = 10 microns (PM10) and respirable vanadium dust were estimated with daily work diaries and a personal sampling device for respirable particulates. These estimates were made for each subject on each workday during the three days between lavages. For each subject, the adjusted change in polymorphonuclear cells was calculated by dividing the change in polymorphonuclear cell counts by the average of the counts before and after exposure. The association between the adjusted polymorphonuclear cell counts and exposure was assessed with multiple linear regression, adjusted for age and current smoking. RESULTS--Personal sampling (one to 10 hour time weighted average) showed a range of PM10 concentrations of 50 to 4510 micrograms/m3, and respirable vanadium dust concentration of 0.10 to 139 micrograms/m3. In smokers the adjusted polymorphonuclear cell count was not significantly different from zero (-0.1%, P > 0.5), but in nonsmokers it was significantly greater than zero (+50%, P < 0.05). In both non-smokers and smokers, there was considerable variability in adjusted polymorphonuclear cell counts and a dose-response relation between these adjusted cell counts and either PM10 or respirable vanadium dust exposure could not be found. CONCLUSION--A significant increase in polymorphonuclear cells in non-smokers but not smokers was found. This suggests that in non-smokers, exposure to fuel oil ash is associated with upper airway inflammation manifested as increased polymorphonuclear cell counts. The lack of an increase in polymorphonuclear cells in smokers may reflect either a diminished inflammatory response or may indicate that smoking masks the effect of exposure to fuel oil ash.
PMCID: PMC1128229  PMID: 7795759
6.  Vanadium Induces Dopaminergic Neurotoxicity Via Protein Kinase C-Delta Dependent Oxidative Signaling Mechanisms: Relevance to Etiopathogenesis of Parkinson's Disease 
Toxicology and applied pharmacology  2009;240(2):273-285.
Environmental exposure to neurotoxic metals through various sources including exposure to welding fumes has been linked to an increased incidence of Parkinson's disease (PD). Welding fumes contain many different metals including vanadium typically present as particulates containing vanadium pentoxide (V2O5). However, possible neurotoxic effects of this metal oxide on dopaminergic neuronal cells are not well studied. In the present study, we characterized vanadium-induced oxidative stress-dependent cellular events in cell culture models of PD. V2O5 was neurotoxic to dopaminergic neuronal cells including primary nigral dopaminergic neurons and the EC50 was determined to be 37 μM in N27 dopaminergic neuronal cell model. The neurotoxic effect was accompanied by a time-dependent uptake of vanadium and upregulation of metal transporter proteins Tf and DMT1 in N27 cells. Additionally, vanadium resulted in a threefold increase in reactive oxygen species generation, followed by release of mitochondrial cytochrome c into cytoplasm and subsequent activation of caspase-9 (>fourfold) and caspase-3 (>ninefold). Interestingly, vanadium exposure induced proteolytic cleavage of native protein kinase Cdelta (PKCδ, 72-74 kDa) to yield a 41 kDa catalytically active fragment resulting in a persistent increase in PKCδ kinase activity. Co-treatment with pan-caspase inhibitor ZVAD-FMK significantly blocked vanadium-induced PKCδ proteolytic activation, indicating that caspases mediate PKCδ cleavage. Also, co-treatment with Z-VAD-FMK almost completely inhibited V2O5-induced DNA fragmentation. Furthermore, PKCδ knockdown using siRNA protected N27 cells from V2O5-induced apoptotic cell death. Collectively, these results demonstrate vanadium can exert neurotoxic effects in dopaminergic neuronal cells via caspase-3-dependent PKCδ cleavage, suggesting that metal exposure may promote nigral dopaminergic degeneration.
PMCID: PMC2753722  PMID: 19646462
metal mixtures; vanadium; manganese; neurotoxicity; oxidative stress; Parkinson's disease
7.  Chronic occupational exposure to hexavalent chromium causes DNA damage in electroplating workers 
BMC Public Health  2011;11:224.
Occupational exposure to chromium compounds may result in adverse health effects. This study aims to investigate whether low-level hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) exposure can cause DNA damage in electroplating workers.
157 electroplating workers and 93 control subjects with no history of occupational exposure to chromium were recruited in Hangzhou, China. Chromium levels in erythrocytes were determined by graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrophotometer. DNA damage in peripheral lymphocytes was evaluated with the alkaline comet assay by three parameters: Olive tail moment, tail length and percent of DNA in the comet tail (tail DNA%). Urinary 8-OHdG levels were measured by ELISA.
Chromium concentration in erythrocytes was about two times higher in electroplating workers (median: 4.41 μg/L) than that in control subjects (1.54 μg/L, P < 0.001). The medians (range) of Olive tail moment, tail length and tail DNA% in exposed workers were 1.13 (0.14-6.77), 11.17 (3.46-52.19) and 3.69 (0.65-16.20), and were significantly higher than those in control subjects (0.14 (0.01-0.39), 3.26 (3.00-4.00) and 0.69 (0.04-2.74), P < 0.001). Urinary 8-OHdG concentration was 13.65 (3.08-66.30) μg/g creatinine in exposed workers and 8.31 (2.94-30.83) μg/g creatinine in control subjects (P < 0.001). The differences of urinary 8-OHdG levels, Olive tail moment, tail length and tail DNA% between these two groups remained significant (P < 0.001) even after stratification by potential confounding factors such as age, gender, and smoking status. Chromium exposure was found to be positively associated with chromium levels in erythrocytes, urinary 8-OHdG levels, Olive tail moment, tail length and tail DNA%. Positive dose-response associations were also found between chromium levels in erythrocytes and Olive tail moment, tail length and tail DNA%.
The findings in this study indicated that there was detectable chromium exposure in electroplating workers. Low-level occupational chromium exposure induced DNA damage.
PMCID: PMC3094242  PMID: 21481275
8.  Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube (SWCNT)-induced interstitial fibrosis in the lungs of rats is associated with increased levels of PDGF mRNA and the formation of unique intercellular carbon structures that bridge alveolar macrophages In Situ 
Nanotechnology is a rapidly advancing industry with many new products already available to the public. Therefore, it is essential to gain an understanding of the possible health risks associated with exposure to nanomaterials and to identify biomarkers of exposure. In this study, we investigated the fibrogenic potential of SWCNT synthesized by chemical vapor deposition using cobalt (Co) and molybdenum (Mo) as catalysts. Following a single oropharyngeal aspiration of SWCNT in rats, we evaluated lung histopathology, cell proliferation, and growth factor mRNAs at 1 and 21 days post-exposure. Comparisons were made to vehicle alone (saline containing a biocompatible nonionic surfactant), inert carbon black (CB) nanoparticles, or vanadium pentoxide (V2O5) as a known inducer of fibrosis.
SWCNT or CB caused no overt inflammatory response at 1 or 21 days post-exposure as determined by histopathology and evaluation of cells (>95% macrophages) in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid. However, SWCNT induced the formation of small, focal interstitial fibrotic lesions within the alveolar region of the lung at 21 days. A small fraction of alveolar macrophages harvested by BAL from the lungs of SWCNT-exposed rats at 21 days were bridged by unique intercellular carbon structures that extended into the cytoplasm of each macrophage. These "carbon bridge" structures between macrophages were also observed in situ in the lungs of SWCNT-exposed rats. No carbon bridges were observed in CB-exposed rats. SWCNT caused cell proliferation only at sites of fibrotic lesion formation as measured by bromodeoxyuridine uptake into alveolar cells. SWCNT increased platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-A, PDGF-B, and PDGF-C mRNA levels significantly at 1 day as measured by Taqman quantitative real-time RT-PCR. At 21 days, SWCNT did not increase any mRNAs evaluated, while V2O5 significantly increased mRNAs encoding PDGF-A, -B, and -C chains, PDGF-Rα, osteopontin (OPN), connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), and transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1.
Our findings indicate that SWCNT do not cause lung inflammation and yet induce the formation of small, focal interstital fibrotic lesioins in the alveolar region of the lungs of rats. Of greatest interest was the discovery of unique intercellular carbon structures composed of SWCNT that bridged lung macrophages. These "carbon bridges" offer a novel and easily identifiable biomarker of exposure.
PMCID: PMC1693565  PMID: 17134509
9.  Respiratory syncytial virus infection reduces lung inflammation and fibrosis in mice exposed to vanadium pentoxide 
Respiratory Research  2010;11(1):20.
Vanadium pentoxide (V2O5) exposure is a cause of occupational bronchitis and airway fibrosis. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a ubiquitous pathogen that causes airway inflammation. It is unknown whether individuals with pre-existing respiratory viral infection are susceptible to V2O5-induced bronchitis. We hypothesized that respiratory viral infection will exacerbate vanadium-induced lung fibrosis.
In this study we investigated the effect of RSV pre- or post-exposure to V2O5 in male AKR mice. Mice were pre-exposed by intranasal aspiration to RSV or media vehicle prior to intranasal aspiration of V2O5 or saline vehicle at day 1 or day 7. A parallel group of mice were treated first with V2O5 or saline vehicle at day 1 and day 7 then post-exposed to RSV or media vehicle at day 8.
V2O5-induced airway inflammation and fibrosis were decreased by RSV pre- or post-exposure. Real time quantitative RT-PCR showed that V2O5 significantly increased lung mRNAs encoding pro-fibrogenic growth factors (TGF-β1, CTGF, PDGF-C) and collagen (Col1A2), but also increased mRNAs encoding anti-fibrogenic type I interferons (IFN-α, -β) and IFN-inducible chemokines (CXCL9 and CXCL10). RSV pre- or post-exposure caused a significantly reduced mRNAs of pro-fibrogenic growth factors and collagen, yet reduced RNA levels of anti-fibrogenic interferons and CXC chemokines.
Collectively these data suggest that RSV infection reduces the severity of V2O5-induced fibrosis by suppressing growth factors and collagen genes. However, RSV suppression of V2O5-induced IFNs and IFN-inducible chemokines suggests that viral infection also suppresses the innate immune response that normally serves to resolve V2O5-induced fibrosis.
PMCID: PMC2841591  PMID: 20175905
10.  Evaluation of DNA damage in agricultural workers exposed to pesticides using single cell gel electrophoresis (comet) assay 
Indian Journal of Human Genetics  2011;17(3):179-187.
Pesticides are used in agriculture to protect crops, but they pose a potential risk to farmers and environment. The aim of the present study is to investigate the relation between the occupational exposure to various pesticides and the presence of DNA damage.
Blood samples of 210 exposed workers (after a day of intense spraying) and 50 control subjects belonging to various districts of Punjab (India) were evaluated using Comet assay. Sixty workers who showed DNA damage were selected for follow up at 5-6 months after the first sampling during a low or null spraying period.
Significant differences were found in DNA damage between freshly exposed workers and controls and freshly exposed and followed up cases. There was significant increase in the comet parameters viz. mean comet tail length and frequency of cells showing migration in exposed workers as compared to controls (72.22 ± 20.76 vs. 46.92 ± 8.17, P<0.001; 31.79 vs. 5.77, P<0.001). In the second samples, followed up cases showed significant decrease in frequency of damaged cells as compared to freshly exposed workers of first sampling (P<0.05). The confounding factors such as variable duration of pesticide exposure, age, smoking, drinking and dietary habits etc which were expected to modulate the damage, were instead found to have no significant effect on DNA fragmentation.
The evidence of a genetic hazard related to exposure resulting from the intensive use of pesticides stresses the need for educational programs for agricultural workers to reduce the use of chemicals in agriculture.
PMCID: PMC3276987  PMID: 22345990
Agricultural workers; comet assay; DNA damage; genotoxicity; pesticides; Punjab
11.  Evaluation of DNA damage in COPD patients and its correlation with polymorphisms in repair genes 
BMC Medical Genetics  2013;14:93.
We investigated a potential link between genetic polymorphisms in genes XRCC1 (Arg399Gln), OGG1 (Ser326Cys), XRCC3 (Thr241Met), and XRCC4 (Ile401Thr) with the level of DNA damage and repair, accessed by comet and micronucleus test, in 51 COPD patients and 51 controls.
Peripheral blood was used to perform the alkaline and neutral comet assay; and genetic polymorphisms by PCR/RFLP. To assess the susceptibility to exogenous DNA damage, the cells were treated with methyl methanesulphonate for 1-h or 3-h. After 3-h treatment the % residual damage was calculated assuming the value of 1-h treatment as 100%. The cytogenetic damage was evaluated by buccal micronucleus cytome assay (BMCyt).
COPD patients with the risk allele XRCC1 (Arg399Gln) and XRCC3 (Thr241Met) showed higher DNA damage by comet assay. The residual damage was higher for COPD with risk allele in the four genes. In COPD patients was showed negative correlation between BMCyt (binucleated, nuclear bud, condensed chromatin and karyorrhexic cells) with pulmonary function and some variant genotypes.
Our results suggest a possible association between variant genotypes in XRCC1 (Arg399Gln), OGG1 (Ser326Cys), XRCC3 (Thr241Met), and XRCC4 (Ile401Thr), DNA damage and progression of COPD.
PMCID: PMC3848611  PMID: 24053728
COPD; DNA damage; DNA repair; Genetic polymorphisms; BMCyt
12.  Occupational risk assessment of paint industry workers 
Thousands of chemical compounds are used in paint products, like pigments, extenders, binders, additives, and solvents (toluene, xylene, ketones, alcohols, esters, and glycol ethers). Paint manufacture workers are potentially exposed to the chemicals present in paint products although the patterns and levels of exposure to individual agents may differ from those of painters. The aim of the present study was to evaluate genome damage induced in peripheral blood lymphocytes and oral mucosa cells of paint industry workers.
Materials and Methods:
Genotoxicity was evaluated using the alkaline Comet assay in blood lymphocytes and oral mucosa cells, and the Micronucleus test in oral mucosa cells. For the micronucleus test in exfoliated buccal cells, no significant difference was detected between the control and paint industry workers.
The Comet assay in epithelia buccal cells showed that the damage index (DI) and damage frequency (DF) observed in the exposed group were significantly higher relative to the control group (P≤0.05). In the same way, the Comet assay data in peripheral blood leukocytes showed that both analysis parameters (DI and DF) were significantly greater than that for the control group (P≤0.05).
Chronic occupational exposure to paints may lead to a slightly increased risk of genetic damage among paint industry workers.
PMCID: PMC3249790  PMID: 22223950
Comet assay; micronucleus test; oral mucosa cells; paint industry workers; peripheral blood lymphocytes
13.  Prevalence and persistence of chromosomal damage and susceptible genotypes of metabolic and DNA repair genes in Chinese vinyl chloride-exposed workers 
Carcinogenesis  2010;31(4):648-653.
Vinyl chloride (VC) was classified as a group 1 carcinogen by IARC in 1987. Although the relationship between VC exposure and liver cancer has been established, the mechanism of VC-related carcinogenesis remains largely unknown. Previous epidemiological studies have shown that VC exposure is associated with increased genotoxicity in humans. To explore chromosomal damage and its progression, and their association to genetic susceptibility, we investigated 402 workers exposed to VC, a 77 VC-exposed cohort and 141 unexposed subjects. We measured the frequencies of cytokinesis-block micronucleus (CBMN) to reflect chromosomal damage and conducted genotyping for six xenobiotic metabolisms and five DNA repair genes' polymorphism. Data indicate that 95% of the control workers had CBMN frequencies ≤3‰, whereas VC-exposed workers had the 3.73-fold increase compared with the controls. Among the cohort workers who were followed from 2004 to 2007, the mean CBMN frequency was higher in 2007 than in 2004 with ratio of 2.08. Multiple Poisson regression analysis showed that mean CBMN frequencies were significantly elevated for the intermediate and high exposure groups than the low. Exposed workers with CYP2E1 or XRCC1 variance showed a higher CBMN frequency than their wild-type homozygous counterparts, so did workers with GSTP1 or ALDH2 genotype. This study provides evidence that cumulative exposure dose of VC and common genetic variants in genes relevant to detoxification of carcinogens are the major factors that modulate CBMN induction in VC-exposed workers.
PMCID: PMC3499047  PMID: 20100738
14.  Vanadium pentoxide induces pulmonary inflammation and tumor promotion in a strain-dependent manner 
Elevated levels of air pollution are associated with increased risk of lung cancer. Particulate matter (PM) contains transition metals that may potentiate neoplastic development through the induction of oxidative stress and inflammation, a lung cancer risk factor. Vanadium pentoxide (V2O5) is a component of PM derived from fuel combustion as well as a source of occupational exposure in humans. In the current investigation we examined the influence of genetic background on susceptibility to V2O5-induced inflammation and evaluated whether V2O5 functions as a tumor promoter using a 2-stage (initiation-promotion) model of pulmonary neoplasia in mice.
A/J, BALB/cJ (BALB), and C57BL/6J (B6) mice were treated either with the initiator 3-methylcholanthrene (MCA; 10 μg/g; i.p.) or corn oil followed by 5 weekly aspirations of V2O5 or PBS and pulmonary tumors were enumerated 20 weeks following MCA treatment. Susceptibility to V2O5-induced pulmonary inflammation was assessed in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF), and chemokines, transcription factor activity, and MAPK signaling were quantified in lung homogenates. We found that treatment of animals with MCA followed by V2O5 promoted lung tumors in both A/J (10.3 ± 0.9 tumors/mouse) and BALB (2.2 ± 0.36) mice significantly above that observed with MCA/PBS or V2O5 alone (P < 0.05). No tumors were observed in the B6 mice in any of the experimental groups. Mice sensitive to tumor promotion by V2O5 were also found to be more susceptible to V2O5-induced pulmonary inflammation and hyperpermeability (A/J>BALB>B6). Differential strain responses in inflammation were positively associated with elevated levels of the chemokines KC and MCP-1, higher NFκB and c-Fos binding activity, as well as sustained ERK1/2 activation in lung tissue.
In this study we demonstrate that V2O5, an occupational and environmentally relevant metal oxide, functions as an in vivo lung tumor promoter among different inbred strains of mice. Further, we identified a positive relationship between tumor promotion and susceptibility to V2O5-induced pulmonary inflammation. These findings suggest that repeated exposures to V2O5 containing particles may augment lung carcinogenesis in susceptible individuals through oxidative stress mediated pathways.
PMCID: PMC2861012  PMID: 20385015
15.  Effects of Metal Compounds With Distinct Physicochemical Properties on Iron Homeostasis and Anti-Bacterial Activity in the Lungs: Cr and V 
Inhalation toxicology  2010;22(2):169-178.
In situ reactions of metal ions or their compounds are important mechanisms by which particles alter lung immune responses. We hypothesized that major determinants of the immunomodulatory effect of any metal include its redox behavior/properties, oxidation state, and/or solubility, and that the toxicities arising from differences in physicochemical parameters are manifest, in part, via differential shifts in lung iron (Fe) homeostasis. To test the hypotheses, immunomodulatory potentials for both penta-valent vanadium (VV; as soluble metavanadate or insoluble vanadium pentoxide) and hexavalent chromium (CrVI; as soluble sodium chromate or insoluble calcium chromate) were quantified in rats after inhalation (5 hr/d for 5 d) of each at 100 μg metal/m3. Differences in effects on local bacterial resistance between the two VV, and between each CrVI, agents suggested that solubility might be a determinant of in situ immunotoxicity. For the soluble forms, VV had a greater impact on resistance than CrVI, indicating that redox behavior/properties was likely also a determinant. The soluble VV agent was the strongest immunomodulant. Regarding Fe homeostasis, both VV agents had dramatic effects on airway Fe levels. Both also impacted local immune/airway epithelial cell Fe levels in there were significant increases in production of select cytokines/chemokines). Our findings contribute to a better understanding of the role that metal compound properties play in respiratory disease pathogenesis and provide a rationale for differing pulmonary immunotoxicities of commonly-encountered ambient metal pollutants.
PMCID: PMC4018818  PMID: 19757987
vanadium; chromium; iron; transferrin; ferritin; Listeria; pulmonary; immunomodulation
16.  Fever and neutrophilic alveolitis caused by a vanadium based catalyst 
Methods: The investigation included inhalation challenge with the suspected compound combined with monitoring of lung function tests and post-challenge bronchoalveolar lavage.
Results: Exposure to the vanadium containing catalyst for 120 minutes resulted in a sustained decline in forced vital capacity and forced expiratory volume in one second, while the transfer factor for carbon monoxide did not change significantly. The subject developed fever and peripheral blood neutrophilia. Bronchoalveolar lavage performed 48 hours after the end of challenge exposure showed a marked increase in neutrophils (60% of total cell count).
Conclusions: Exposure to vanadium can cause a metal fume fever-like syndrome associated with neutrophilic alveolitis.
PMCID: PMC1740233  PMID: 12409538
17.  Photoconductivities in monocrystalline layered V2O5 nanowires grown by physical vapor deposition 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2013;8(1):443.
Photoconductivities of monocrystalline vanadium pentoxide (V2O5) nanowires (NWs) with layered orthorhombic structure grown by physical vapor deposition (PVD) have been investigated from the points of view of device and material. Optimal responsivity and gain for single-NW photodetector are at 7,900 A W-1 and 30,000, respectively. Intrinsic photoconduction (PC) efficiency (i.e., normalized gain) of the PVD-grown V2O5 NWs is two orders of magnitude higher than that of the V2O5 counterpart prepared by hydrothermal approach. In addition, bulk and surface-controlled PC mechanisms have been observed respectively by above- and below-bandgap excitations. The coexistence of hole trapping and oxygen sensitization effects in this layered V2O5 nanostructure is proposed, which is different from conventional metal oxide systems, such as ZnO, SnO2, TiO2, and WO3.
PMCID: PMC3818987  PMID: 24160337
Vanadium pentoxide; Nanowire; Photoconductivity; Physical vapor deposition; Normalized gain
18.  Association of HSP70 and genotoxic damage in lymphocytes of workers exposed to coke-oven emission 
Cell Stress & Chaperones  2002;7(4):396-402.
Heat shock proteins (Hsps) have been reported to protect cells, tissues, and organisms against damage from a wide variety of stressful stimuli. Whether they protect against deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) damage in individuals exposed to environmental stresses and chemical carcinogens is unknown. In the study, we investigated the association between Hsp70 levels (the most abundant mammalian Hsp) and genotoxic damage in lymphocytes of workers exposed to coke-oven emission using Western dot blot and 2 DNA damage assays, the comet assay and the micronucleus test. The data show that there is a significant increase in Hsp70 levels, DNA damage score, and micronucleus rates in lymphocytes of workers exposed to coke-oven emission as compared with the control subjects. Furthermore, there was a significant negative correlation of Hsp70 levels with DNA damage scores in the comet assay (r = −0.663, P < 0.01) and with micronucleus rates (r = −0.461, P < 0.01) in the exposed group. In the control group, there was also a light negative correlation between Hsp70 with DNA damage and micronuclei rate (r = −0.236 and r = 0.242, respectively), but it did not reach a statistically significant level (P > 0.05). Our results show that individuals who had high Hsp70 levels generally showed lower genotoxic damage than others. These results suggest a role of Hsp70 in the protection of DNA from genotoxic damage induced by coke-oven emission.
PMCID: PMC514839  PMID: 12653484
19.  No increased DNA damage in peripheral lymphocytes of sewage workers as evaluated by alkaline single cell gel electrophoresis. 
OBJECTIVES: To study whether sewage workers are exposed to genotoxic substances. An increased risk of cancers among sewage workers has been noted. If this increased risk is due to an exposure to genotoxic agents, primarily DNA damage could be used as a biological marker of exposure. METHODS: In a cross sectional study, DNA damage in peripheral lymphocytes from 35 sewage workers and 30 controls was compared with alkaline single cell gel electrophoresis, a technique for detecting single strand breaks and alkali labile sites in DNA. The controls were selected from among municipal workers matched for age and smoking habit. Information about occupational exposures and possible confounders was collected by means of a questionnaire. RESULTS: No increase in DNA damage was found among the sewage workers when compared with the unexposed controls. CONCLUSIONS: The failure to detect increased damage to DNA in peripheral lymphocytes by alkaline single cell gel electrophoresis suggests that the sewage workers studied here were not exposed to genotoxic agents to a greater extent than other municipal workers. It may be, however, that the lymphocyte is not the appropriate target cell to study, or that sewage workers are exposed to carcinogens which do not damage the genetic material.
PMCID: PMC1128819  PMID: 9282126
20.  Renal toxicity and arterial hypertension in rats chronically exposed to vanadate. 
The effects of 1, 10, or 40 micrograms/ml of vanadium, given for six or seven months as sodium metavanadate in drinking water on cardiovascular and biochemical variables and the electrolyte metabolism of male Sprague-Dawley rats were investigated. At the end of the exposure period, all animals exposed to vanadate had increased systolic and diastolic blood pressure. This effect was not dose dependent and heart rate and cardiac inotropism were not affected. The role of defective renal function and electrolyte metabolism in such effects was supported, in the rats exposed to 10 and 40 ppm of vanadium, by the following changes: (a) decreased Na, + K(+)-ATPase activity in the distal tubules of nephrons; (b) increased urinary excretion of potassium; (c) increase in plasma renin activity and urinary kallikrein, kininase I, and kininase II activities; (d) increased plasma aldosterone (only in the rats treated with 10 ppm of vanadium). The alterations in the rats exposed to 1 ppm of vanadium were: (a) reduced urinary calcium excretion; (b) reduced urinary kallikrein activity; (c) reduced plasma aldosterone. These results suggest that blood hypertension in rats exposed to vanadate depends on specific mechanisms of renal toxicity related to the levels of exposure.
PMCID: PMC1128021  PMID: 8044251
21.  Comet assay analysis of single–stranded DNA breaks in circulating leukocytes of glaucoma patients 
Molecular Vision  2008;14:1584-1588.
To investigate the amount of single-stranded DNA breaks in circulating leukocytes of primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) patients.
A comparative quantification of DNA breaks was performed in circulating leukocytes of POAG patients and healthy controls. The following groups of subjects were compared: (1) POAG patients having primary vascular dysregulation (PVD), (2) POAG patients without PVD, (3) healthy controls with PVD, and (4) healthy controls without PVD. The damage to DNA resulting in single-stranded breaks was assessed by means of the alkaline comet assay in which the damaged DNA migrates out of the nucleus forming a tail, which can be quantified using image analysis. Damage was quantified as the comet tail moment, which represents the extent of DNA damage in individual cells.
Leukocytes of POAG patients exerted a significantly higher amount of comet tails, which are indicative of DNA damage, in comparison to control leukocytes (p<0.001). DNA breaks occurred particularly in the subgroup of POAG patients with PVD in comparison to glaucoma patients without PVD (p=0.002). In the control group, there was no significant difference between controls with PVD and controls without PVD (p=0.86).
POAG patients with PVD have a significantly higher rate of DNA breaks than both POAG patients without PVD and healthy controls with and without PVD.
PMCID: PMC2526097  PMID: 18769648
22.  DNA damage in outdoor workers occupationally exposed to environmental air pollutants 
Health concerns about the exposure to genotoxic and carcinogenic agents in the air are particularly significant for outdoor workers in less developed countries.
To investigate the association between personal exposure to a group of air pollutants and severity of DNA damage in outdoor workers from two Mexican cities.
DNA damage (Comet assay) and personal exposure to volatile organic compounds, PM2.5, and ozone were investigated in 55 outdoor and indoor workers from México City and Puebla.
In México City, outdoor workers had greater DNA damage, reflected by a longer tail length, than indoor workers (median 46.8 v 30.1 μm), and a greater percentage of highly damaged cells (cells with tail length ⩾41 μm); in Puebla, outdoor and indoor workers had similar DNA damage. There were more alkali labile sites in outdoor than indoor workers. The DNA damage magnitude was positively correlated with PM2.5 and ozone exposure. Outdoor and indoor workers with ⩾60% of highly damaged cells (highly damaged workers) had significantly higher exposures to PM2.5, ozone, and some volatile organic compounds. The main factors associated with the highly damaged workers were ozone, PM2.5, and 1‐ethyl‐2‐methyl benzene exposure.
With this approach, the effects of some air pollutants could be correlated with biological endpoints from the Comet assay. It is suggested that the use of personal exposure assessment and biological endpoints evaluation could be an important tool to generate a more precise assessment of the associated potential health risks.
PMCID: PMC2078085  PMID: 16556741
single strand breaks; comet assay; outdoor workers; ozone; VOCs; PM2.5
23.  Vanadyl sulfate inhibits NO production via threonine phosphorylation of eNOS. 
Environmental Health Perspectives  2004;112(2):201-206.
Exposure to excessive vanadium occurs in some occupations and with consumption of some dietary regimens for weight reduction and body building. Because vanadium is vasoactive, individuals exposed to excessive vanadium may develop adverse vascular effects. We have previously shown that vanadyl sulfate causes acute pulmonary vasoconstriction, which could be attributed in part to inhibition of nitric oxide production. In the present study we investigated whether NO inhibition was related to phosphorylation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS). VOSO4 produced dose-dependent constriction of pulmonary arteries in isolated perfused lungs and pulmonary arterial rings and a right shift of the acetylcholine-dependent vasorelaxation curve. VOSO4 inhibited constitutive as well as A23187-stimulated NO production. Constitutive NO inhibition was accompanied by increased Thr495 (threonine at codon 495) phosphorylation of eNOS, which would inhibit eNOS activity. Thr495 phosphorylation of eNOS and inhibition of NO were partially reversed by pretreatment with calphostin C, a protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitor. There were no changes in Ser1177 (serine at codon 1177) or tyrosine phosphorylation of eNOS. These results indicate that VOSO4 induced acute pulmonary vasoconstriction that was mediated in part by the inhibition of endothelial NO production via PKC-dependent phosphorylation of Thr495 of eNOS. Exposure to excessive vanadium may contribute to pulmonary vascular diseases.
PMCID: PMC1241829  PMID: 14754574
24.  ATR-FTIR spectroscopy detects alterations induced by organotin(IV) carboxylates in MCF-7 cells at sub-cytotoxic/-genotoxic concentrations 
PMC Biophysics  2008;1:3.
The environmental impact of metal complexes such as organotin(IV) compounds is of increasing concern. Genotoxic effects of organotin(IV) compounds (0.01 μg/ml, 0.1 μg/ml or 1.0 μg/ml) were measured using the alkaline single-cell gel electrophoresis (comet) assay to measure DNA single-strand breaks (SSBs) and the cytokinesis-block micronucleus (CBMN) assay to determine micronucleus formation. Biochemical-cell signatures were also ascertained using attenuated total reflection Fourier-transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy. In the comet assay, organotin(IV) carboxylates induced significantly-elevated levels of DNA SSBs. Elevated micronucleus-forming activities were also observed. Following interrogation using ATR-FTIR spectroscopy, infrared spectra in the biomolecular range (900 cm-1 – 1800 cm-1) derived from organotin-treated MCF-7 cells exhibited clear alterations in their biochemical-cell fingerprint compared to control-cell populations following exposures as low as 0.0001 μg/ml. Mono-, di- or tri-organotin(IV) carboxylates (0.1 μg/ml, 1.0 μg/ml or 10.0 μg/ml) were markedly cytotoxic as determined by the clonogenic assay following treatment of MCF-7 cells with ≥ 1.0 μg/ml. Our results demonstrate that ATR-FTIR spectroscopy can be applied to detect molecular alterations induced by organotin(IV) compounds at sub-cytotoxic and sub-genotoxic concentrations. This biophysical approach points to a novel means of assessing risk associated with environmental contaminants.
PACS codes: 87.15.-v, 87.17.-d, 87.18.-h
PMCID: PMC2666631  PMID: 19351425
25.  Influence of vanadium on serum lipid and lipoprotein profiles: a population-based study among vanadium exposed workers 
Some experimental animal studies reported that vanadium had beneficial effects on blood total cholesterol (TC) and triglyceride (TG). However, the relationship between vanadium exposure and lipid, lipoprotein profiles in human subjects remains uncertain. This study aimed to compare the serum lipid and lipoprotein profiles of occupational vanadium exposed and non-exposed workers, and to provide human evidence on serum lipid, lipoprotein profiles and atherogenic indexes changes in relation to vanadium exposure.
This cross-sectional study recruited 533 vanadium exposed workers and 241 non-exposed workers from a Steel and Iron Group in Sichuan, China. Demographic characteristics and occupational information were collected through questionnaires. Serum lipid and lipoprotein levels were measured for all participants. The ratios of total cholesterol to high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) to HDL-C and apoB to apoA-I were used as atherogenic indexes. A general linear model was applied to compare outcomes of the two groups while controlling possible confounders and multivariate logistic regression was performed to evaluate the relationship between low HDL-C level, abnormal atherogenic index and vanadium exposure.
Higher levels of HDL-C and apoA-I could be observed in the vanadium exposed group compared with the control group (P < 0.05). Furthermore, atherogenic indexes (TC/HDL-C, LDL-C/HDL-C, and apoB/apoA-I ratios) were found statistically lower in the vanadium exposed workers (P < 0.05). Changes in HDL-C, TC/HDL-C, and LDL-C/HDL-C were more pronounced in male workers than that in female workers. In male workers, after adjusting for potential confounding variables as age, habits of smoking and drinking, occupational vanadium exposure was still associated with lower HDL-C (OR 0.41; 95% CI, 0.27-0.62) and abnormal atherogenic index (OR 0.38; 95% CI, 0.20-0.70).
Occupational vanadium exposure appears to be associated with increased HDL-C and apoA-I levels and decreased atherogenic indexes. Among male workers, a significantly negative association existed between low HDL-C level, abnormal atherogenic index and occupational vanadium exposure. This suggests vanadium has beneficial effects on blood levels of HDL-C and apoA-I.
PMCID: PMC3945940  PMID: 24558984
Vanadium; Lipid; Lipoprotein; Atherogenic index; Occupational exposure

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