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No association between pyrite content and lung cell responses to coal particles


Zosky, GR and Bennett, Ellen and Pavez, M and Beamish, BB, No association between pyrite content and lung cell responses to coal particles, Scientific Reports, 11, (1) Article 8193. ISSN 2045-2322 (2021) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright 2021 the authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1038/s41598-021-87517-z


There has been an increase in the identification of cases of coal workers' pneumoconiosis (CWP) in recent years around the world. While there are a range of possible explanations for this, studies have implicated the pyrite content of coal as a key determinant of CWP risk. However, experimental studies to support this link are limited. The aim of this study was to assess the association between the pyrite content, and subsequent release of bioavailable iron, in coal particles and the response of lung cells involved in the pathogenesis of CWP (epithelial cells, macrophages and fibroblasts). Using real-world Australian coal samples, we found no evidence of an association between the pyrite content of the coal and the magnitude of the detrimental cell response. We did find evidence of an increase in IL-8 production by epithelial cells with increasing bioavailable iron (p = 0.01), however, this was not linked to the pyrite content of the coal (p = 0.75) and we did not see any evidence of a positive association in the other cell types. Given the lack of association between the pyrite content of real-world coal particles and lung cell cytotoxicity (epithelial cells and macrophages), inflammatory cytokine production (epithelial cells, macrophages and fibroblasts), and cell proliferation (fibroblasts) our data do not support the use of coal pyrite content as a predictor of CWP risk.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:particulate matter, coal dust, pneumoconiosis, lung cells
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Cardiovascular medicine and haematology
Research Field:Respiratory diseases
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Prevention of human diseases and conditions
UTAS Author:Zosky, GR (Professor Graeme Zosky)
UTAS Author:Bennett, Ellen (Dr Ellen Bennett)
ID Code:144720
Year Published:2021
Web of Science® Times Cited:5
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2021-06-07
Last Modified:2022-08-25
Downloads:10 View Download Statistics

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