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  • Writer's pictureKirk Hartley

Asbestos Fibers Interacting with Cells and Proteins – Adipocytes Lead Off 2014

2014 medical journals are in the mail, and illustrate that researchers continue to explore the reactions and impacts between asbestos fibers and cells, such as adipocytes. The results do not explicitly define the reasons for mesothelioma but provide intriguing glimpses into the interactions between fibers, cells and proteins. Depending on one’s perspective, the results might yield divergent arguments about causation and fiber types. Carcinogenesis (2014) 35 (1): 164-172. doi: 10.1093/carcin/bgt267

"Like many other human cancers, the development of malignant mesothelioma is closely associated with a chronic inflammatory condition. Both macrophages and mesothelial cells play crucial roles in the inflammatory response caused by asbestos exposure. Here, we show that adipocytes can also contribute to asbestos-induced inflammation through dysregulated adipocytokine production. 3T3-L1 preadipocytes were differentiated into mature adipocytes prior to use. These cells took up asbestos fibers (chrysotile, crocidolite and amosite) but were more resistant to asbestos-induced injury than macrophages and mesothelial cells. Expression microarray analysis followed by reverse transcription–PCR revealed that adipocytes respond directly to asbestos exposure with an increased production of proinflammatory adipocytokines [e.g. monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1)], whereas the production of anti-inflammatory adipocytokines (e.g. adiponectin) is suppressed. This was confirmed in epididymal fat pad of mice after intraperitoneal injection of asbestos fibers. Such dysregulated adipocytokine production favors the establishment of a proinflammatory environment. Furthermore, MCP-1 marginally promoted the growth of MeT-5A mesothelial cells and significantly enhanced the wound healing of Y-MESO-8A and Y-MESO-8D human mesothelioma cells. Our results suggest that increased levels of adipocytokines, such as MCP-1, can potentially contribute to the promotion of mesothelial carcinogenesis through the enhanced recruitment of inflammatory cells as well as a direct growth and migration stimulatory effect on mesothelial and mesothelioma cells. Taken together, our findings support a potential cancer-promoting role of adipocytes in asbestos-induced mesothelial carcinogenesis."

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