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TOXICOLOGY AND CARCINOGENESIS STUDIES OF GALLIUM ARSENIDE
results after 14-days
Hematology and clinical chemistry results indicated that exposure to gallium arsenide induced a microcytic responsive anemia with an erythrocytosis and increased zinc protoporphyrin/heme ratios in exposed groups of rats. There were also increases in platelet and neutrophil counts, a transient decrease in leukocyte counts, and increases in the serum activities of alanine aminotransferase and sorbitol dehydrogenase. These changes were of greater magnitude in male rats. The lung weights of all exposed groups of rats were increased, while testis, cauda epididymis, and epididymis weights of males exposed to 37 or 75 mg/m3 were generally less than those of chamber controls. Total spermatid heads and spermatid counts were significantly decreased in males exposed to 75 mg/m3, while epididymal spermatozoa motility was significantly reduced in males exposed to 10 mg/m3 or
after 2 years
Compared to the chamber controls, the incidences of alveolar/bronchiolar neoplasms were significantly increased in females exposed to 1.0 mg/m3 and exceeded the historical control ranges. Exposurerelated nonneoplastic lesions in the lungs of male and female rats included atypical hyperplasia, alveolar epithelial hyperplasia, chronic active inflammation, proteinosis, and alveolar epithelial metaplasia. In the larynx of males exposed to 1.0 mg/m3, the incidences of hyperplasia, chronic active inflammation, squamous metaplasia, and hyperplasia of the epiglottis were significantly increased. The incidences of benign pheochromocytoma of the adrenal medulla occurred with a positive trend in female rats, and the incidence was significantly increased in the 1.0 mg/m3 group and exceeded the historical control range. The incidence of mononuclear cell leukemia was
significantly increased in females exposed to 1.0 mg/m3 and exceeded the historical control range.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
Public Health Service
National Institutes of Health
J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2003 Dec;307(3):1045-53. Epub 2003 Oct 14. Related Articles, Links
Gallium arsenide selectively up-regulates inflammatory cytokine expression at exposure site.
Becker SM, McCoy KL.
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Box 980678, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23298-0678, USA.
Gallium arsenide (GaAs), a technologically and economically important semiconductor, is widely utilized in both military and commercial applications. This chemical is a potential health hazard as a carcinogen and immunotoxicant. We previously reported that macrophages at the exposure site exhibit characteristics of activation. In vitro culture of macrophages with GaAs fails to recapitulate the in vivo phenotype, suggesting that complete GaAs-mediated activation in vivo may require other cells or components found in the body's microenvironment. Our present study examined the role of cytokines upon GaAs-mediated macrophage activation. Intraperitoneal administration of GaAs elicited rapid specific recruitment of blood monocytes to the exposure site. This recruitment occurred concomitant with up-regulation of 17 chemokine and inflammatory cytokine mRNAs, while transcripts of three inhibitory cytokines diminished. Administration of latex beads caused less cytokine induction than GaAs, indicating that changes in mRNA levels could not be attributed to phagocytosis. Four representative chemokines and cytokines were selected for further analysis. Increased cytokine mRNA expression was paralleled by similar increases in cytokine protein levels, and secreted protein products were detected in peritoneal fluid. Cytokine protein expression was constrained to myeloid cells, and to a lesser extent to B cells. Alterations in patterns of cytokine gene expression elucidate mechanisms for increased cellular activation and antigen processing, and modulation of the inflammatory response. Our findings indicate that in vivo GaAs exposure alters cytokine gene expression, which may lead to an inflammatory reaction and contribute to pathological tissue damage.
Life Sci. 2004 Jun 11;75(4):485-98. Related Articles, Links
Gallium arsenide exposure impairs processing of particulate antigen by macrophages: modification of the antigen reverses the functional defect.
Hartmann CB, McCoy KL.
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Medical College of Virginia/Virginia Commonwealth University, P.O. Box 980678, Richmond, VA 23298-0678, USA.
Gallium arsenide (GaAs), a semiconductor used in the electronics industry, causes systemic immunosuppression in animals. The chemical's impact on macrophages to process the particulate antigen, sheep red blood cells (SRBC), for a T cell response in culture was examined after in vivo exposure of mice. GaAs-exposed splenic macrophages were defective in activating SRBC-primed lymph node T cells that could not be attributed to impaired phagocytosis. Modified forms of SRBC were generated to examine the compromised function of GaAs-exposed macrophages. SRBC were fixed to maintain their particulate nature and subsequently delipidated with detergent. Delipidation of intact SRBC was insufficient to restore normal antigen processing in GaAs-exposed macrophages. However, chemically exposed cells efficiently processed soluble sheep proteins. These findings suggest that the problem may lie in the release of sequestered sheep protein antigens, which then could be effectively cleaved to peptides. Furthermore, opsonization of SRBC with IgG compensated for the macrophage processing defect. The influence of signal transduction and phagocytosis via Fcgamma receptors on improved antigen processing could be dissociated. Immobilized anti-Fcgamma receptor antibody activated macrophages to secrete a chemokine, but did not enhance processing of unmodified SRBC by GaAs-exposed macrophages. Restoration of normal processing of particulate SRBC by chemically exposed macrophages involved phagocytosis through Fcgamma receptors. Hence, initial immune responses may be very sensitive to GaAs exposure, and the chemical's immunosuppression may be averted by opsonized particulate antigens.
Chemosphere. 2003 Dec;53(8):877-82. Related Articles, Links
Effects of gallium on common carp (Cyprinus carpio): acute test, serum biochemistry, and erythrocyte morphology.
Yang JL, Chen HC.
Institute of Zoology, National Taiwan University, Taipei 106, Taiwan, ROC.
Gallium (Ga) is one of the intermetallic elements that are increasingly being used in making high-speed semiconductors such as gallium arsenide. The purposes of this study were to investigate the effects of gallium on acute toxicity, on serum biochemical variables as well as on erythrocyte morphological changes in the blood stream of common carp (Cyprinus carpio). Median lethal concentrations were determined in acute tests. The 96-h LC50 value was 19.78 (18.49-21.16) mgl(-1). Common carp were exposed to different gallium concentrations (2.0, 4.0, and 8.0 mgl(-1)) for 28 days in laboratory toxicity tests. Means of the measured serum biochemistry parameters (including glucose, blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, cholesterol, and triglyceride) of these exposed groups significantly differed from those of the untreated group. Deformation of erythrocytes suggest disturbance of respiration as an additional indicator of Ga exposure. Our results suggest that 2.0 mgl(-1) is proposed as a biologically safe concentration which can be used for establishing tentative water quality criteria concerning of same size common carp. In addition, serum biochemical parameters as well as erythrocyte morphological changes are promising clinical diagnostic tools for assessing the effects of gallium compounds on common carp.
Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2003 Dec 15;193(3):309-34. Related Articles, Links
The metabolism of inorganic arsenic oxides, gallium arsenide, and arsine: a toxicochemical review.
Carter DE, Aposhian HV, Gandolfi AJ.
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, College of Pharmacy, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721-0207, USA. email@example.com
The aim of this review is to compare the metabolism, chemistry, and biological effects to determine if either of the industrial arsenicals (arsine and gallium arsenide) act like the environmental arsenic oxides (arsenite and arsenate). The metabolism of the arsenic oxides has been extensively investigated in the past 4 years and the differences between the arsenic metabolites in the oxidation states +III versus +V and with one or two methyl groups added have shown increased importance. The arsenic oxide metabolism has been compared with arsine (oxidation state -III) and arsenide (oxidation state between 0 to -III). The different metabolites appear to have different strengths of reaction for binding arsenic (III) to thiol groups, their oxidation-reduction reactions and their forming an arsenic-carbon bond. It is unclear if the differences in parameters such as the presence or absence of methyl metabolites, the rates of AsV reduction compared to the rates of AsIII oxidation, or the competition of phosphate and arsenate for cellular uptake are large enough to change biological effects. The arsine rate of decomposition, products of metabolism, target organ of toxic action, and protein binding appeared to support an oxidized arsenic metabolite. This arsine metabolite was very different from anything made by the arsenic oxides. The gallium arsenide had a lower solubility than any other arsenic compound and it had a disproportionate intensity of lung damage to suggest that the GaAs had a site of contact interaction and that oxidation reactions were important in its toxicity. The urinary metabolites after GaAs exposure were the same as excreted by arsenic oxides but the chemical compounds responsible for the toxic effects of GaAs are different from the arsenic oxides. The review concludes that there is insufficient evidence to equate the different arsenic compounds. There are several differences in the toxicity of the arsenic compounds that will require substantial research.
Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2004 Aug 1;198(3):405-11. Related Articles, Links
Toxicity of indium arsenide, gallium arsenide, and aluminium gallium arsenide.
Department of Hygiene, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka 812-8582, Japan. firstname.lastname@example.org
Gallium arsenide (GaAs), indium arsenide (InAs), and aluminium gallium arsenide (AlGaAs) are semiconductor applications. Although the increased use of these materials has raised concerns about occupational exposure to them, there is little information regarding the adverse health effects to workers arising from exposure to these particles. However, available data indicate these semiconductor materials can be toxic in animals. Although acute and chronic toxicity of the lung, reproductive organs, and kidney are associated with exposure to these semiconductor materials, in particular, chronic toxicity should pay much attention owing to low solubility of these materials. Between InAs, GaAs, and AlGaAs, InAs was the most toxic material to the lung followed by GaAs and AlGaAs when given intratracheally. This was probably due to difference in the toxicity of the counter-element of arsenic in semiconductor materials, such as indium, gallium, or aluminium, and not arsenic itself. It appeared that indium, gallium, or aluminium was toxic when released from the particles, though the physical character of the particles also contributes to toxic effect. Although there is no evidence of the carcinogenicity of InAs or AlGaAs, GaAs and InP, which are semiconductor materials, showed the clear evidence of carcinogenic potential. It is necessary to pay much greater attention to the human exposure of semiconductor materials.