Two groups of rats were exposed to quartz dust for six months and in addition one group was given drinking water containing 1.5% sodium glutamate while the second received only water. In the rats receiving glutamate we observed (a) evidence for a considerably reduced cytotoxic effect of the quartz on cells obtained by bronchopulmonary lavage, (b) a reduction in dust retention in the lungs, especially in the tracheobronchial lymph nodes, (c) a considerable reduction in the weight gain in the lungs and in their hydroxyproline and lipid contents, and (d) the inhibition of the formation of silicotic nodules. Polarographic studies of the oxygen consumption of peritoneal macrophages from rats receiving glutamate showed that glutamate prevents the adverse effects of quartz on mitochondrial oxidative processes.
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