Effects of Beryllium on Human Serum Immunoglobulin and Lymphocyte Subpopulation


To investigate the effects of short-term exposure of beryllium on the human immune system, the proportion of T-lymphocytes such as CD3+, CD4+, CD8+, CD95, and NK cells, andthe proportion of B cells and TNFα level in peripheral blood and immunoglobulins in the serum of 43 exposed workers and 34 healthy control subjects were studied. External exposure to beryllium was measured by atomic absorption spectrometer as recommended by the NIOSH analytical method 7300. T lymphocyte subpopulation analysis was carried out with flow cytometer. The working duration of exposed workers was less than 3 months and the mean ambient beryllium level was 3.4 μg/m(3), 112.3 μg/m(3), and 2.3 μg/m(3) in molding (furnace), deforming (grinding), and sorting processes, respectively (cited from Kim et al., 2008). However, ambient beryllium level after process change was non-detectable (< 0.1 μg/m(3)). The number of T lymphocytes and the amount of immunoglobulins in the beryllium-exposed workers and control subjects were not significantly different, except for the total number of lymphocytes and CD95 (APO1/FAS). The total number of lymphocytes was higher in the beryllium-exposed individuals than in the healthy control subjects. Multiple logistic regression analysis showed lymphocytes to be affected by beryllium exposure (odd ratio = 7.293; p < 0.001). These results show that short-term exposure to beryllium does not induce immune dysfunction but is probably associated with lymphocytes proliferation.

DOI: 10.5487/TR.2013.29.2.115

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@inproceedings{Kim2013EffectsOB, title={Effects of Beryllium on Human Serum Immunoglobulin and Lymphocyte Subpopulation}, author={Ki-Woong Kim and Dae-Sung Kim and Yong Lim Won and S K Kang}, booktitle={Toxicological research}, year={2013} }