Effect of chromium on the level of IL-12 and IFN-gamma in occupationally exposed workers.
ABSTRACT Chromium may affect humoral and cellular immunity, acting on T lymphocytes as well as on granulocytes and monocytes cells. Cytokines play an important role in the immune balance. In this study, the level of IL-12 and IFN-gamma were evaluated in the sera and PHA/LPS stimulated culture supernatant of human PBMCs of healthy volunteers and occupationally exposed chromium workers. All the workers were highly exposed to chromium having mean of 104.65+/-77.21 microg/dL (range 23.7-316.8 microg/dL). A suspension of exposed and unexposed human PBMC (0.5x10(6) cells/ml) prepared and cultured in RPMI-1640 supplemented with 10% FCS for 18 h in the presence or absence of LPS (10 ng/ml) which used for stimulation of IL-12 and IFN-gamma. The level of IL-12 and IFN-gamma were evaluated in the sera samples as well as LPS stimulated and unstimulated culture supernatant of h-PBMCs of chromium exposed workers. In these chromium exposed workers the level of IL-12 was 433.66+/-197.49 pg/ml and 983.45+/-330.99 pg/ml in LPS stimulated culture supernatant of normal individuals and highly chromium exposed workers, which was significant (P<0.05). Although the level of IL-12 was (78.61+/-61.03 pg/ml to 146.52+/-46.37 pg/ml) elevated in unstimulated culture supernatant of h-PBMCs of chromium exposed individuals as compared to control, but it was not significant. This observation also suggests that a significant increase in IFN-gamma production in LPS stimulated and unstimulated culture supernatant of h-PBMCs of chromium exposed workers as compared to control. However, IFN-gamma level have a significant positive correlation between blood chromium level (r=0.833, t=6.3872, P 0.05) and exposure time (in years) (r=0.8916, t=8.3540, P 0.05) of the occupationally exposed workers.