Proteome analysis of bronchoalveolar lavage in individuals from Metsovo, nonoccupationally exposed to asbestos

Journal of Proteome Research. 2009 Feb;8(2):860-9. [Link]

Archimandriti DT, Dalavanga YA, Cianti R, Bianchi L, Manda-Stachouli C, Armini A, Koukkou AI, Rottoli P, Constantopoulos SH, Bini L.

Department of Pneumonology, Medical School, University of Ioannina, Ioannina, Greece.


Inhabitants of Metsovo, NW Greece, have been exposed to an asbestos whitewash, resulting in malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) and pleural calcifications (PCs). Interestingly, those with PCs (PC+) are less prone to MPM. They also have lymphocytic alveolitis, and differences in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) proteins, compared with those without pleural calcifications (PC). This may mean a different response to the fiber leading to different susceptibility to neoplasia. To further evaluate this, a proteomic analysis of BAL proteins was performed. Proteomic analysis (2D-electrophoresis/Mass Spectrometry) of BAL in Metsovites nonoccupationally exposed to asbestos revealed increased albumin fragments, alpha1-antitrypsin, S100-A9 and HSP27, suggesting ongoing inflammation. In those without pleural calcifications, increased expression of acid ceramidase, glutathione-S-transferase and presence of calcyphosin, all involved in cell cycle regulation and death as well as in the detoxification of mutagenic and toxic agents, lend further support to our thesis of possible “protection against neoplasia” in Metsovites with pleural calcifications.