Resistance to asbestos-induced apoptosis with continuous exposure to crocidolite on a human T cell

Megumi Maeda, Shoko Yamamoto, Ying Chen, Naoko Kumagai-Takei, Hiroaki Hayashi, Hidenori Matsuzaki, Suni Lee, Tamayo Hatayama, Naomi Miyahara, Minako Katoh, Juni ichi Hiratsuka, Yasumitsu Nishimura, Takemi Otsuki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


We have been investigating the immunological effects of asbestos. The establishment of a low-dose and continuously exposed human T cell line, HTLV-1 immortalized MT-2, to chrysotile (CB) revealed reduction of CXCR3 chemokine receptor and production of IFN-γ that caused a decline of tumor immunity. These effects were coupled with upregulation of IL-10, TGF-β, and BCL-2 in asbestos-exposed patients. To observe the immunological effects of crocidolite (CR) on human T cells, a trial to establish a low-dose and continuously exposed model was conducted and compared with a previously reported CB-exposed model (MT-2CB). Transient exposure of MT-2 original cells to CB or CR induced a similar level of apoptosis and growth inhibition. The establishment of a continuously exposed subline to CR (MT-2CR) revealed resistance against CR-induced apoptosis and upregulation of the BCL-2/BAX ratio similar to that recorded for MT-2CB. Both sublines showed reduced production of IFN-γ, TNF-α, and IL-6 with increased IL-10. cDNA microarray with network/pathway analyses focusing on transcription factors revealed that many similar factors related to cell proliferation were involved following continuous exposure to asbestos in both MT-2CB and MT-2CR. These results indicate that both CB and CR fibers affect human T cells with similar degrees even though the carcinogenic activity of these substances differs due to their chemical and physical forms. Trials to identify early detection markers for asbestos exposure or the occurrence of asbestos-inducing malignancies using these findings may lead to the development of clinical tools for asbestos-related diseases and chemoprevention that modifies the reduced tumor immunity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)174-182
Number of pages9
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2012


  • Apoptosis
  • Asbestos
  • Chrysotile
  • Crocidolite
  • T cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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