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Assesment of Effects of Formaldehyde Exposure on Respiratory Health: An Innovative in vitro Model

Persoz, Charles; Achard, Sophie; Leleu, Christopher; Seta, Nathalie

doi: 10.1097/01.ede.0000362403.73053.54
Abstracts: ISEE 21st Annual Conference, Dublin, Ireland, August 25–29, 2009: Symposium Abstracts

Université Paris Descartes, Paris, France.


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Background and Objective:

Many epidemiological studies have shown the existence of an association between air pollution and certain respiratory diseases. To study such a relationship, it is necessary to have toxicologic elements to describe the impact of these pollutants on biological models targets. The currently available toxicology models are often too remote from human exposure. The objective of this project is to develop a toxicological tool suited to studying the cellular impact of air pollutants emitted at low doses. To implement this approach, we focused a major pollutant of indoor air: formaldehyde (CHOH).

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In an in vitro exposure system (Vitrocell®), allowing direct contact between the atmosphere and to study the target cells, human alveolar epithelial cells (A549), grown at confluence were exposed for 30 min and 60 at different levels of CHOH (123 to 984 μg/m3). After 24 hours of post-incubation, the mitochondrial activity (XTT) cells were evaluated and the chemoattractant cytokine IL-8 was assayed by ELISA.

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No toxicity was measured for 123 μg/m3 of CHOH, whatever the exposure time, while for 30 min of exposure to 246 μg/m3, a 30% reduction in measured activity is observed. For acute exposure and for all tested concentrations, there wasn't significant increase of IL-8 release compared to the control.

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These results concern an exposure range close to areas of discomfort described by some guidelines (<100 μg/m3) and do not demonstrate clear toxicity at these levels. Next, we can turn to the study of the inflammatory response related to CHOH with repeated exposures.

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.