The cytotoxic action of quartz (DQ12) particles on cultures of rat peritoneal macrophages, as estimated by the inhibition of the TTC-reductase activity, is considerably reduced by preincubation with glutamic acid and by adding sodium glutamate (15 mg/ml) to the drinking water of the rats donating the macrophages. This increase in macrophage resistance under the influence of glutamate is the most probable cause of the delay in the development of silicotic fibrosis shown in several experiments on rats intratracheally injected with quartz and then treated by prolonged administration of glutamate. This effect is probably connected with the influence of glutamate on the stability of the macrophage membranes, which can in its turn be explained by different mechanisms, including the influence on the synthesis and phosphorylation of adenosine nucleotides. Such an influence was shown in rats receiving glutamate by the change of the ATP/ADP ratio in macrophages, but not in erythrocytes. The resistance of rat erythrocytes to the haemolytic action of quartz is also not influenced by the action of glutamate neither in vitro nor in vivo. Such differences in the influences of glutamate on two types of cells, equally susceptible to quartz cytotoxicity but considerably differing in the character of energy metabolism, is an indirect proof of the role of the latter in the realisation of the anticytotoxic, and thereby antifibrogenic, effect of glutamate.
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