Defense and protection mechanisms in lung exposed to asbestiform fiber: the role of macrophage migration inhibitory factor and heme oxygenase-1.

European Journal of Histochemistry 2020 April 16 [Link]

Loreto C, Caltabiano R, Graziano ACE, Castorina S, Lombardo C, Filetti V, Vitale E, Rapisarda G, Cardile V, Ledda C, Rapisarda V.


Fluoro-edenite (FE), an asbestiform fiber, is responsible for many respiratory pathologies: chronic obstructive diseases, pleural plaques, fibrosis, and malignant mesothelioma. Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) is one of the first cytokines produced in response to lung tissue damage. Heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) is a protein with protective effects against oxidative stress. It is up regulated by several stimuli including pro-inflammatory cytokines and factors that promote oxidative stress. In this research, the in vivo model of sheep lungs naturally exposed to FE was studied in order to shed light on the pathophysiological events sustaining exposure to fibers, by determining immunohistochemical lung expression of MIF and HO-1. Protein levels expression of HO-1 and MIF were also evaluated in human primary lung fibroblasts after exposure to FE fibers in vitro. In exposed sheep lungs, MIF and HO-1 immunoexpression were spread involving the intraparenchymal stroma around bronchioles, interstitium between alveoli, alveolar epithelium and macrophages. High MIF immunoexpression prevails in macrophages. Similar results were obtained in vitro, but significantly higher values were only detected for HO-1 at concentrations of 50 and 100 μg/mL of FE fibers. MIF and HO-1 expressions seem to play a role in lung self-protection against uncontrolled chronic inflammation, thus counteracting the strong link with cancer development, induced by exposure to FE. Further studies will be conducted in order to add more information about the role of MIF and HO-1 in the toxicity FE-induced.