In vivo and in vitro toxicity of a stainless-steel aerosol generated during thermal spray coating


Thermal spray coating is an industrial process in which molten metal is sprayed at high velocity onto a surface as a protective coating. An automated electric arc wire thermal spray coating aerosol generator and inhalation exposure system was developed to simulate an occupational exposure and, using this system, male Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to stainless steel PMET720 aerosols at 25 mg/m3 × 4 h/day × 9 day. Lung injury, inflammation, and cytokine alteration were determined. Resolution was assessed by evaluating these parameters at 1, 7, 14 and 28 d after exposure. The aerosols generated were also collected and characterized. Macrophages were exposed in vitro over a wide dose range (0-200 µg/ml) to determine cytotoxicity and to screen for known mechanisms of toxicity. Welding fumes were used as comparative particulate controls. In vivo lung damage, inflammation and alteration in cytokines were observed 1 day post exposure and this response resolved by day 7. Alveolar macrophages retained the particulates even after 28 day post-exposure. In line with the pulmonary toxicity findings, in vitro cytotoxicity and membrane damage in macrophages were observed only at the higher doses. Electron paramagnetic resonance showed in an acellular environment the particulate generated free radicals and a dose-dependent increase in intracellular oxidative stress and NF-kB/AP-1 activity was observed. PMET720 particles were internalized via clathrin and caveolar mediated endocytosis as well as actin-dependent pinocytosis/phagocytosis. The results suggest that compared to stainless steel welding fumes, the PMET 720 aerosols were not as overtly toxic, and the animals recovered from the acute pulmonary injury by 7 days.

Authors: Vamsi Kodali, Aliakbar Afshari, Terence Meighan, Walter McKinney, Md Habibul Hasan Mazumder, Nairrita Majumder, Jared L Cumpston, Howard D Leonard, James B Cumpston, Sherri Friend, Stephen S Leonard, Aaron Erdely, Patti C Zeidler-Erdely, Salik Hussain, Eun Gyung Lee, James M Antonini
; Full Source: Archives of toxicology 2022 Aug 19. doi: 10.1007/s00204-022-03362-7.