Pulmonary Evaluation of Permissible Exposure Limit of Syntroleum S-8 Synthetic Jet Fuel in Mice

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Abstract

No current studies have systematically examined pulmonary health effects associated with Syntroleum S-8 synthetic jet fuel (S-8). In order to gain an understanding about the threshold concentration in which lung injury is observed, C57BL/6 male mice were nose-only exposed to S-8 for 1 h/day for 7 days at average concentrations of 0 (control), 93, 352, and 616 mg/m3. Evaluation of pulmonary function, airway epithelial barrier integrity, and pathohistology was performed 24 h after the final exposures. Significant decreases were detected in expiratory lung resistance and total lung compliance of the 352 mg/m3 group, for which no clear concentration-dependent alterations could be determined. No significant changes in respiratory permeability were exhibited, indicating that there was no loss of epithelial barrier integrity following S-8 exposure. However, morphological examination and morphometric analysis of distal lung tissue, by using transmission electron microscopy, revealed cellular damage in alveolar type II epithelial cells, with significant increases in volume density of lamellar bodies/vacuoles at 352 and 616 S-8 mg/m3. Moreover, terminal bronchiolar Clara injury, as evidenced by apical membrane blebs, was observed at relatively low concentrations, suggesting if this synthetic jet fuel is utilized, the current permissible exposure limit of 350 mg/m3 for hydrocarbon fuels should cautiously be applied.

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