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Does aluminium stimulate the immune system in male rats after oral exposure?

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The influence of oral aluminium exposure on the immune system was studied in rats. Male rats were exposed to soluble and labile Al in acidic drinking water (0-500mgAl/l)for 7-9 weeks. The concentration of Al in femur bone was higher in rats exposed to 50 and 500mgAl/l (mean concentration 277 and 599ngAl/g) than in control rats (150ngAl/g). The Al concentration in blood plasma could only be quantified in the 500mg/l group (mean 2.7ng/ml), whereas the concentrations in the control and 50mg/l groups were low (<2ngAl/ml). Exposure of 4-13-weeks-old rats to the highest Al concentration caused an increased number of splenocytes, whereas exposure of 9-16-weeks-old rats to 500mgAl/l caused an increased number of thymocytes. Moreover, the proliferative response of splenocytes to the mitogen Con A (2 mug/ml)was increased by exposure of the 9-16-weeks-old rats to 500mgAl/l as compared with the controls. The results indicate that oral Al exposure caused a slight stimulation of some immune functions in the rat at Al plasma concentrations normally found in the human population (<10ngAl/ml).
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Keywords: AL GASTROINTESTINAL ABSORPTION FOOD WATER IMMUNE SUPPRESSION

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 1999

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