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Occupational exposure to diesel engine exhaust and alterations in lymphocyte subsets.


ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:The International Agency for Research on Cancer recently classified diesel engine exhaust (DEE) as a Group I carcinogen based largely on its association with lung cancer. However, the exposure-response relationship is still a subject of debate and the underlying mechanism by which DEE causes lung cancer in humans is not well understood. METHODS:We conducted a cross-sectional molecular epidemiology study in a diesel engine truck testing facility of 54 workers exposed to a wide range of DEE (ie, elemental carbon air levels, median range: 49.7, 6.1-107.7?µg/m(3)) and 55 unexposed comparable controls. RESULTS:The total lymphocyte count (p=0.00044) and three of the four major lymphocyte subsets (ie, CD4+ T cells (p=0.00019), CD8+ T cells (p=0.0058) and B cells (p=0.017)) were higher in exposed versus control workers and findings were highly consistent when stratified by smoking status. In addition, there was evidence of an exposure-response relationship between elemental carbon and these end points (ptrends<0.05), and CD4+ T cell levels were significantly higher in the lowest tertile of DEE exposed workers compared to controls (p=0.012). CONCLUSIONS:Our results suggest that DEE exposure is associated with higher levels of cells that play a key role in the inflammatory process, which is increasingly being recognised as contributing to the aetiology of lung cancer. IMPACT:This study provides new insights into the underlying mechanism of DEE carcinogenicity.

SUBMITTER: Lan Q 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6438624 | BioStudies | 2015-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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