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Chronic effects on the respiratory tract of hamsters, mice and rats after log-term inhalation of high concentrations of filtered and unfiltered diesel emissions

: Ernst, H.; Fuhst, R.; Heinrich, U.; Mohr, U.; Muhle, H.; Stoeber, W.; Takenaka, S.

Journal of applied toxicology 6 (1986), Nr.6, S.383-395
ISSN: 0260-437X
Fraunhofer ITA ( ITEM) ()
animal experiment; carcinogenicity; chronic toxicity rodents; diesel engine emission; inhalation exposure

A long-term exposure study with hamsters, mice and rats inhaling filtered and unfiltered diesel engine exhaust was carried out to investigate effects of chronic toxicity and, predominantly, carcinogenicity in the respiratory tract. The level of diesel exhaust in the exposure chambers corresponded to a concentration close to 4 mg m over the minus 3 power in the unfiltered diesel exhaust. Satellite groups of animals were additionally treated with BaP, DBahA or nitrosamines in order to check for syncarcinogenic effects. In hamsters and rats, alveolar lung clearance and mechanical lung function tests as well as biochemical and cytological measurements in lung lavage fluids showed significant changes only after exposure to unfiltered diesel exhaust and, predominantly, in rats. No lung tumors were found in hamsters. Spontaneous tumor rates occured in mice and both types of diesel exhaust increased the incidence of adenocarcinomas in the lungs. In rats, only the unfiltered diesel exhaust caus ed a lung tumor incidence. It amounted to 16% with no tumors in the controls. The heavy load of particulate matter in the lungs of rats was caused by an exposure-related impairment of the alveolar lung clearance and may have been instrumental in the induction of squamous cell tumors. However, an effect of particle-associated PAH cannot be excluded. Syncarcinogenic effects of diesel exhaust after initial carcinogen treatment were found only in the respiratory tract of rats.