Toxicology 2014 Mar 19;317:31-9. Epub 2014 Jan 19.
Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Human Toxicology, University of Iowa, UI Research Park, Iowa City, IA 52242-5000, USA; Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, University of Iowa, UI Research Park, Iowa City, IA 52242-5000, USA. Electronic address:
Human exposure to polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) can occur via ingestion of indoor dust, inhalation of PBDE-contaminated air and dust-bound PBDEs. However, few studies have examined the pulmonary toxicity of particle-bound PBDEs, mainly due to the lack of an appropriate particle-cell exposure system. In this study we developed an in vitro exposure system capable of generating particle-bound PBDEs mimicking dusts containing PBDE congeners (BDEs 35, 47 and 99) and delivering them directly onto lung cells grown at an air-liquid interface (ALI). The silica particles and particles-coated with PBDEs ranged in diameter from 4.3 to 4.5 μm and were delivered to cells with no apparent aggregation. This experimental set up demonstrated high reproducibility and sensitivity for dosing control and distribution of particles. ALI exposure of cells to PBDE-bound particles significantly decreased cell viability and induced reactive oxygen species generation in A549 and NCI-H358 cells. In male Sprague-Dawley rats exposed via intratracheal insufflation (0.6 mg/rat), particle-bound PBDE exposures induced inflammatory responses with increased recruitment of neutrophils to the lungs compared to sham-exposed rats. The present study clearly indicates the potential of our exposure system for studying the toxicity of particle-bound compounds.