Asbestos bodies (AB) form in the lungs as a result of a biomineralization process initiated by the alveolar macrophages in the attempt to remove asbestos. During this process, organic and inorganic material deposit on the foreign fibers forming a Fe-rich coating. The AB start to form in months, thus quickly becoming the actual interface between asbestos and the lung tissue. Therefore, revealing their composition, and, in particular, the chemical form of Fe, which is the major component of the AB, is essential to assess their possible role in the pathogenesis of asbestos-related diseases. In this work we report the result of the first x-ray diffraction measurements performed on single AB embedded in the lung tissue samples of former asbestos plant workers. The combination with x-ray absorption spectroscopy data allowed to unambiguously reveal that Fe is present in the AB in the form of two Fe-oxy(hydroxides): ferrihydrite and goethite. The presence of goethite, which can be explained in terms of the transformation of ferrihydrite (a metastable phase) due to the acidic conditions induced by the alveolar macrophages in their attempt to phagocytose the fibers, has toxicological implications that are discussed in the paper.

Closing the knowledge gap on the composition of the asbestos bodies / Bardelli, F; Giacobbe, C; Ballirano, P; Borelli, V; Di Benedetto, F; Montegrossi, G; Bellis, D; Pacella, A. - In: ENVIRONMENTAL GEOCHEMISTRY AND HEALTH. - ISSN 1573-2983. - (2023). [10.1007/s10653-023-01557-0]

Closing the knowledge gap on the composition of the asbestos bodies

Ballirano, P;Pacella, A
2023

Abstract

Asbestos bodies (AB) form in the lungs as a result of a biomineralization process initiated by the alveolar macrophages in the attempt to remove asbestos. During this process, organic and inorganic material deposit on the foreign fibers forming a Fe-rich coating. The AB start to form in months, thus quickly becoming the actual interface between asbestos and the lung tissue. Therefore, revealing their composition, and, in particular, the chemical form of Fe, which is the major component of the AB, is essential to assess their possible role in the pathogenesis of asbestos-related diseases. In this work we report the result of the first x-ray diffraction measurements performed on single AB embedded in the lung tissue samples of former asbestos plant workers. The combination with x-ray absorption spectroscopy data allowed to unambiguously reveal that Fe is present in the AB in the form of two Fe-oxy(hydroxides): ferrihydrite and goethite. The presence of goethite, which can be explained in terms of the transformation of ferrihydrite (a metastable phase) due to the acidic conditions induced by the alveolar macrophages in their attempt to phagocytose the fibers, has toxicological implications that are discussed in the paper.
2023
Asbestos bodies; Ferrihydrite; Goethite; Iron; Mesothelioma; Synchrotron radiation; Toxicology
01 Pubblicazione su rivista::01a Articolo in rivista
Closing the knowledge gap on the composition of the asbestos bodies / Bardelli, F; Giacobbe, C; Ballirano, P; Borelli, V; Di Benedetto, F; Montegrossi, G; Bellis, D; Pacella, A. - In: ENVIRONMENTAL GEOCHEMISTRY AND HEALTH. - ISSN 1573-2983. - (2023). [10.1007/s10653-023-01557-0]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1678324
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