Cancer research

Carcinogenic sulfide salts of nickel and cadmium induce H2O2 formation by human polymorphonuclear leukocytes.

PMID 2253206


Some derivatives of nickel, cadmium, and cobalt are carcinogenic in humans and/or animals but their mechanisms of action are not known. We show that they are capable of stimulating human polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs), as measured by H2O2 formation, a known tumor promoter. Most effective were the carcinogens nickel subsulfide, which caused a 550% net increase in H2O2 over that formed by resting PMNs, followed by cadmium sulfide, 400%, and nickel disulfide, 200%. Nickel sulfide and cobalt sulfide caused statistically nonsignificant increases of 45 and 20%, respectively. Noncarcinogenic barium and manganese sulfides, and sulfates of nickel, cadmium, and cobalt were inactive. The enhancement of H2O2 formation by CdS and Ni3S2 (1 mumol/2.5 x 10(5) PMNs) was comparable to that mediated by the potent tumor promoter 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate, used at 0.5 and 1 nM, respectively. Concurrent treatment of 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate-stimulated PMNs with Ni3S2 or NiS caused a decrease in H2O2 accumulation from that expected if the effects were additive. Including catalase in the reaction mixture proved that the oxidant formed by stimulated PMNs was H2O2, whereas adding superoxide dismutase showed that superoxide was also present in PMN samples treated with NiS but not with Ni3S2. Since nickel- and cadmium-containing particulates are deposited in the lungs and cause infiltration of PMNs, the ability to activate those cells and induce H2O2 formation may contribute to their carcinogenicity.

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