Lung Fibrosis in Sprague-Dawley Rats, Induced by Exposure to Manual Metal Arc—Stainless Steel Welding Fumes

Il Je Yu; Kyung Seuk Song; Hee Kyung Chang; Jeong Hee Han; Kwang Jin Kim; Yong Hyun Chung; Seung Hee Maeng; Seung Hyun Park; Kuy Tae Han; Kyu Hyuk Chung; Ho Keun Chung
September 2001
Toxicological Sciences;Sep2001, Vol. 63 Issue 1, p99
Academic Journal
To investigate the disease process of pneumoconiosis induced by welding-fume exposure, a lung fibrosis model was established by building a stainless steel arc welding fume generation system and exposing male Sprague-Dawley rats for 90 days. The rats were exposed to welding fumes with concentrations of 57–67 mg/m3 (low dose) and 105–118 mg/m3 (high dose) total suspended particulates for 2 h per day in an inhalation chamber for 90 days. The concentrations of the main metals, Fe, Mn, Cr, and Ni, were measured in the welding fumes, plus the gaseous compounds, including nitrous gases and ozone, were monitored. During the exposure period, the animals were sacrificed after the initial 2-h exposure and after 15, 30, 60, and 90 days. Histopathological examinations were conducted on the animals' upper respiratory tract, including the nasal pathway and conducting airway, plus the gas exchange region, including the alveolar ducts, alveolar sacs, and alveoli. When compared to the control group, the lung weights did not increase significantly in the low-dose group, yet in the high-dose group there was a significant increase from day 15 to day 90. The histopatholgical examination combined with fibrosis-specific staining (Masson's trichrome) indicated that the lungs in the low-dose group did not exhibit any progressive fibrotic changes. Whereas, the lungs in the high-dose group exhibited early delicate fibrosis from day 15, which progressed into the perivascular and peribronchiolar regions by day 30. Interstitial fibrosis appeared at day 60 and became prominent by day 90, along with the additional appearance of pleural fibrosis. Accordingly, it would appear that a significant dose of welding-fume exposure was required to induce lung fibrosis.


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