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Airway symptoms and biological markers in nasal lavage fluid in subjects exposed to metalworking fluids
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences. Östergötlands Läns Landsting, Heart and Medicine Center, Occupational and Environmental Medicine Center.
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
County Hospital Ryhov, Jönköping, Sweden.
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2013 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 8, no 12, e83089- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUNDS: Occurrence of airway irritation among industrial metal workers was investigated. The aims were to study the association between exposures from water-based metal working fluids (MWF) and the health outcome among the personnel, to assess potential effects on the proteome in nasal mucous membranes, and evaluate preventive actions.

METHODS: The prevalence of airway symptoms related to work were examined among 271 metalworkers exposed to MWF and 24 metal workers not exposed to MWF at the same factory. At the same time, air levels of potentially harmful substances (oil mist, morpholine, monoethanolamine, formaldehyde) generated from MWF was measured. Nasal lavage fluid was collected from 13 workers and 15 controls and protein profiles were determined by a proteomic approach.

RESULTS: Airway symptoms were reported in 39% of the workers exposed to MWF although the measured levels of MWF substances in the work place air were low. Highest prevalence was found among workers handling the MWF machines but also those working in the same hall were affected. Improvement of the ventilation to reduce MWF exposure lowered the prevalence of airway problems. Protein profiling showed significantly higher levels of S100-A9 and lower levels of SPLUNC1, cystatin SN, Ig J and β2-microglobulin among workers with airway symptoms.

CONCLUSIONS: This study confirms that upper airway symptoms among metal workers are a common problem and despite low levels of MWF-generated substances, effects on airway immune proteins are found. Further studies to clarify the role of specific MWF components in connection to airway inflammation and the identified biological markers are warranted.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Public Library of Science , 2013. Vol. 8, no 12, e83089- p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-103739DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0083089ISI: 000329325200035PubMedID: 24391738OAI: diva2:690743
Available from: 2014-01-24 Created: 2014-01-24 Last updated: 2015-04-23Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Upper Airway Mucosal Inflammation: Proteomic Studies after Exposure to Irritants and Microbial Agents
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Upper Airway Mucosal Inflammation: Proteomic Studies after Exposure to Irritants and Microbial Agents
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

People are, in their daily lives, exposed to a number of airborne foreign compounds that do not normally affect the body. However, depending on the nature of these compounds, dose and duration of exposure, various airway symptoms may arise. Early symptoms are often manifested as upper airway mucosal inflammation which generates changes in protein composition in the airway lining fluid.

This thesis aims at identifying, understanding mechanisms and characterizing protein alterations in the upper airway mucosa that can be used as potential new biomarkers for inflammation in the mucosa. The protein composition in the mucosa was studied by sampling of nasal lavage fluid that was further analyzed with a proteomic approach using twodimensional gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry. Additionally, by studying factors on site through environmental examination, health questionnaires and biological analyses, we have tried to understand the background to these protein alterations and their impact on health.

Respiratory symptoms from the upper airways are common among people who are exposed to irritative and microbial agents. This thesis have focused on personnel in swimming pool facilities exposed to trichloramine, metal industry workers exposed to metalworking fluids, employees working in damp and moldy buildings and infants diagnosed with respiratory syncytial virus infection. The common denominator in these four studies is that the subjects experience upper airway mucosal inflammation, which is manifested as cough, rhinitis, phlegm etc. In the three occupational studies, the symptoms were work related. Notably, a high prevalence of perceived mucosal symptoms was shown despite the relatively low levels of airborne irritants revealed by the environmental examination. Protein profiling verified an ongoing inflammatory response by identification of several proteins that displayed altered levels. Interestingly, innate immune proteins dominated and four protein alterations occurred in most of the studies; SPLUNC1, protein S100A8 and S100A9 and alpha-1-antitrypsin. Similarly, these proteins were also found in nasal fluid from children with virus infection and in addition a truncated form of SPLUNC1 and two other S100 proteins (S100A7-like 2 and S100A16), not previously found in nasal secretion, were identified.

Altogether, the results indicate the potential use of a proteomic approach for identifying new biomarkers for the upper respiratory tract at an early stage in the disease process after exposure to irritant and microbial agents. The results indicate an effect on the innate immunity system and the proteins; SPLUNC1, protein S100A8 and S100A9 and alpha-1-antitrypsin are especially promising new biomarkers. Moreover, further studies of these proteins may help us to understand the molecular mechanisms involved in irritant-induced airway inflammation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2015. 72 p.
Linköping University Medical Dissertations, ISSN 0345-0082 ; 1453
National Category
Environmental Health and Occupational Health Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-117343 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-117343 (DOI)978-91-7519-129-4 (print) (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-05-21, Hälsans hus, Campus US, Linköping, 09:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2015-04-23 Created: 2015-04-23 Last updated: 2015-04-23Bibliographically approved

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