Histological and Ultrastructure Changes Induced by Di {2-ethylhexyl}Phthalate (dehp) in the Alveolar Tissue of Adult Albino Rats and the Possibility of Recovery

Research Article

Sahar Khalil Abdel- gawad and


Background: DEHP is a commonly used phthalate plasticizer in polyvinylchloride (PVC) formulations used by many medical devices. It is known to be released with time into the biological fluids or redistributed into various tissues increasing the risk of certain health hazards that include developmental anomalies, reproductive and respiratory health effects. Objective: To investigate the histopathological effects of DEHP on the lung alveolar tissues and the possibility of recovery after stoppage of DEHP administration in adult albino rats. Methods: Thirty adult male albino rats were divided equally into three groups, received the following via orogastric intubation once daily for 2 weeks: Group I (control group): received normal saline. Group II (DEHP treated group): received DEHP dissolved in normal saline. Group III (DEHP recovery group): received DEHP as group II and then left untreated for another 2 weeks. The right lung from each animal was dissected, cut into small pieces. Some specimens were processed for paraffin sections to be stained with Haematoxylin & Eosin and Masson’s trichrome, others were processed for semi-thin sections, and ultrathin sections to be examined with Transmission Electron Microscope. Results: The alveolar tissue in DEHP treated group showed marked increase in the thickness of the interalveolar septa with collagen deposition and inflammatory cellular infiltration associated with many collapsed alveoli. Most of type II pneumocytes showing necrotic changes in the form of vacuolated or deeply acidophilic cytoplasm with karyorrhetic or pyknotic nuclei. Additionally, there was interstitial hemorrhage. We found a statistically significant increase in the thickness of the interalveolar septa, number of type II pneumocyte, number of alveolar macrophages/field and the area percentage of collagen fibers when compared to control group. Ultrastructurally, type II pneumocytes showed degenerative changes in the form of cytoplasmic vacuolation and destruction of lamellar bodies and mitochondria. However, alveolar tissue changes showed mild improvement after drug stoppage. Conclusion: DEHP has toxic effect on the alveolar tissues which was not totally improved after its withdrawal.

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