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No association between pyrite content and lung cell responses to coal particles


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Zosky, GR ORCID: 0000-0001-9039-0302, Bennett, Ellen ORCID: 0000-0002-9818-827X, Pavez, M and Beamish, BB 2021 , 'No association between pyrite content and lung cell responses to coal particles' , Scientific Reports, vol. 11, no. 1 , doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-87517-z.

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There has been an increase in the identification of cases of coal workers' pneumoconiosis (CWP) in recent years around the world. While there are a range of possible explanations for this, studies have implicated the pyrite content of coal as a key determinant of CWP risk. However, experimental studies to support this link are limited. The aim of this study was to assess the association between the pyrite content, and subsequent release of bioavailable iron, in coal particles and the response of lung cells involved in the pathogenesis of CWP (epithelial cells, macrophages and fibroblasts). Using real-world Australian coal samples, we found no evidence of an association between the pyrite content of the coal and the magnitude of the detrimental cell response. We did find evidence of an increase in IL-8 production by epithelial cells with increasing bioavailable iron (p = 0.01), however, this was not linked to the pyrite content of the coal (p = 0.75) and we did not see any evidence of a positive association in the other cell types. Given the lack of association between the pyrite content of real-world coal particles and lung cell cytotoxicity (epithelial cells and macrophages), inflammatory cytokine production (epithelial cells, macrophages and fibroblasts), and cell proliferation (fibroblasts) our data do not support the use of coal pyrite content as a predictor of CWP risk.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Zosky, GR and Bennett, Ellen and Pavez, M and Beamish, BB
Keywords: particulate matter, coal dust, pneumoconiosis, lung cells
Journal or Publication Title: Scientific Reports
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
ISSN: 2045-2322
DOI / ID Number: 10.1038/s41598-021-87517-z
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Copyright 2021 the authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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