Asbestos-induced epithelial changes in organ cultures of hamster trachea: inhibition by retinyl methyl ether

Science  18 Jan 1980:
Vol. 207, Issue 4428, pp. 311-313
DOI: 10.1126/science.7350661


The epithelium of the hamster trachea in organ culture undergoes hyperplasia and squamous metaplasia after exposure to the amphibole types of asbestos, crocidolite and amosite. These changes are inhibited when the synthetic vitamin A analog, retinyl methyl ether, is incorporated into the culture medium. These findings suggest a possible use for retinoids in the prevention and treatment of respiratory tract disease associated with environmental exposure to asbestos.