Friday, July 10, 2015

Why Does Asbestos Cause Mesothelioma?

Researchers out of Brazil have published findings from a new study that begins to help explain how asbestos ultimately causes mesothelioma in the human body.

Researchers at the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil exposed pleural mesothelium cells in mice to crocidolite and chrysotile asbestos fibers and found that the asbestos exposed cells began over producing inflammatory cytokines, a type of protein. The healthy mesothelial cells also began experiencing apoptosis (programmed death) and necrosis (death from injury) at higher rates.

Researcher’s then neutralized the cytokines with antibodies to confirm their findings, and found that neutralizing the proteins effectively prevented further death to healthy mesothelial cells.

We know that mesothelioma occurs when asbestos fibers are ingested or inhaled, and lodge themselves in the tissue of the body. What is not known, is by what mechanisms asbestos causes the cell mutation that ultimately leads to the growth of cancerous cells. Identifying the proteins responsible for this mutation will hopefully allow researchers to develop preventative treatment for those exposed to asbestos.

Read the abstract here.

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