The abilities of Min U Sil quartz or tridymite particles to induce sister chromatid exchanges (SCEs) in cultures of human lymphocytes plus monocytes or of human purified lymphocytes were investigated. With cultures of lymphocytes plus monocytes the level of SCEs was significantly enhanced after treatment with tridymite at the highest dose tested (50 micrograms/cm2). No effect was observed with purified lymphocytes. Quartz did not give clear cut results. Complementary experiments with tridymite filtrates suggested that phagocytosis of tridymite particles by monocytes was a necessary step for the induction of SCEs in human lymphocytes.
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