Journal of Biosciences

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 115–119 | Cite as

Lucigenin chemiluminescence assay as an adjunctive tool for assessment of various stages of inflammation: A study of quiescent inflammatory cells

  • Knox Van Dyke
  • Shaily Patel
  • Val Vallyathan


A simple, fast, precise and biologically relevant toxicity assay for screening cytotoxicity of minerals would have distinct advantages due to its cost benefits and relative savings in time. Furthermore, a bioassay to differentiate acute and chronicin vivo pulmonary reactions could have potential value as predictors of fibrogenicity and pathogenicity. In this study we examined the potential use of lucigenin as a probe to evaluate the correlation between chemiluminescence (CL) generated by alveolar macrophages with the known cytotoxicity and pathogenicity by conventional bioassays. In this study, we used small doses of dust (20 μg) to minimize cellular overload and to maintain homeostasis. Crystalline silica a highly fibrogenic dust was used as positive control and results are compared with those for bentonite, kaolin and talc. Among the three minerals compared with silica, bentonite was more reactive (27%) in CL assay and declined sharply compared to other minerals. This sudden decline in bentonite CL is caused by cytotoxicity leading to cell death. CL-induced by talc was comparable to silica and declines slowly. Kaolin on the other hand produced relatively a weaker (25%) CL compared to silica. Our data using relatively low doses of dust suggest that the CL assay may have a better predictive value in cytotoxicity evaluations compared to conventional toxicity assays.


Chemiluminescence cytotoxicity bioassay occupational dusts 

Abbreviations used




Hank’s balanced salt solution


oxidants superoxide


tumour necrosis factor-alpha


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Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Sciences 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Knox Van Dyke
    • 1
  • Shaily Patel
    • 1
    • 2
  • Val Vallyathan
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry and Molecular PharmacologyWest Virginia Health Science CenterMorgantownUSA
  2. 2.Pathology and Physiology Research BranchNational Institute for Occupational Safety and HealthMorgantownUSA

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