Bromo-deoxyuridine (BRDU) uptake in the lungs of rats inhaling amosite asbestos or vitreous fibres at equal airborne fibre concentrations

Kenneth Donaldson*, David M. Brown, Brian G. Miller, Arnold R. Brody

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Rats were exposed, by inhalation, to target airborne fibre concentrations of 1000 f/ml (PCOM fibres by WHO criteria) of a long amosite asbestos sample and a vitreous fibre sample; the target was closely attained for both fibre samples. The size distributions of the two fibre samples was closely similar. Rats were placed in the chambers for 7 hours and then, following a further 16 hours in room air, were injected with bromo-deoxyuridine (BRDU). The presence of BRDU-positive cells in terminal bronchioles/alveolar ducts was assessed in blocks taken from various parts of the left lung, from apex to base. There were significant differences in the proliferative responses between animals but there were also significant differences between the treatments. Lungs from rats exposed to vitreous fibres showed no greater response than the controls, but there was a markedly greater proliferative response in the lungs of rats inhaling long amosite. There was a decreasing gradient of proliferative response from the apex of the lung to the base with all treatments. This could be explained by different degrees of deposition in different areas of the lung. Similar amounts of fibre accumulated in the lungs of rats exposed to the two fibre types and it is unlikely that dissolution could be important over the timescale used here. We conclude that, when amosite asbestos deposits in the lungs of rats it stimulates a proliferative response and that deposition of an equal number of similar-sized vitreous fibres has no effect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-211
Number of pages5
JournalExperimental and Toxicologic Pathology
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 1995


  • Amosite asbestos
  • Asbestos, amosite
  • Bromo-deoxyuridine (BRDU)
  • Fibres, vitreos
  • Lung, asbestosis
  • Vitreous fibres, lung

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Toxicology
  • Cell Biology


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