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Oxygen (O2) is an essential element for aerobic respiration. Atmospheric concentration of O2 is approximately 21%. Mammalian cells, however, are generally adapted to O2 levels much lower than atmospheric conditions. The pericellular levels of O2 must also be maintained within a fairly narrow range to meet the demands of cells. This applies equally to cells in vivo and cells in primary cultures. There has been growing interest in the performance of cell culture experiments under various O2 levels to study molecular and cellular responses. To this end, a range of technologies (e.g. gas-permeable technology) and instruments (e.g. gas-tight boxes and gas-controlled incubators) have been developed. It should be noted, however, that some of these have limitations and they are still undergoing refinement. Nevertheless, better results should be possible when technical concerns are taken into account. This paper aims to review various aspects of O2 level adjustment in primary cell cultures, regulation of pericellular O2 gradients and possible effects of the cell culture medium.
Jana Buchancová, Hubert Poláček, Henrieta Hudečková, Lukáš Murajda, Oto Osina and Jela Valachová
Skeletal fluorosis from the point of view of an occupational exposure to fluorides in former Czechoslovakia
Electrolytic production of aluminium in former Czechoslovakia started in the year 1953 in the Žiar valley in the central Slovakia. However, till 1995 the hygienic conditions for health protection were not met in the factory. It underwent a reconstruction afterwards. The authors demonstrate cases of occupational skeletal fluorosis (currently rare in Europe) in 14 metallurgists which were all disclosed in foundry workers in Žiar nad Hronom as to the year 2005. The occupational disease was diagnosed after 17.7 ± 7.67 years (x ± SD) of exposure in the foundry.
The authors describe the clinical conditions, haematological and biochemical tests (decreased level of ionising calcium was found in serum). The content of fluorides in urine was increased (254.4 ± 130.95 μmol/l). The average age of patients at the time of recognition of the professional etiology of the disease was 57.93 ± 7.95 years. Eight patients were older than 60 years. Skeletal abnormalities were evaluated by using X-ray skiagraphy, estimating the Stage I-III of the skeletal fluorosis. Typically an increase of bone density was found, the compact part of long bones was coarsed, there were calcifications of the interosseous membrane between radius and ulna and some ossifications of the sacrospinal and sacrotuberous ligaments. Twelve patients suffered sensorimotor polyneuropathy of extremities, chronic bronchitis was found in 6 patients (two of them were smokers).
The last occupational case was registered in the year 2001. The authors assume that aluminium production with modern technology of better safety and protection of health of workers is the key which will make the skeletal fluorosis the history in the Czech and Slovak Republic.
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