A multicompartmental model for the kinetics of dust retention in the pulmonary region of the lung and in the tracheobronchial lymph nodes has been developed. The model reflects the following ideas concerning the basic features of this process: (1) penetration into the pulmonary interstitium and translocation to the lymph nodes are possible for non-phagocytized particles only; (2) these processes depend on the degree of damage to macrophages by dust and on the extent of compensatory enhancement in the recruitment of neutrophils taking part in the clearance of the pulmonary region free surface; (3) a certain proportion of initially penetrating particles is continuously returned to this surface together with recruited pulmonary macrophages. The model ensures a satisfactory approximation to experimental data on the retention of quartz in the lung and lymph nodes during long term inhalation exposure, and simulation of the kinetic effects associated with both the damage to and the protection of the macrophagal clearance mechanism.
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