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목적: 석탄분진에 의한 탄광부 진폐증에서 폐의 염증 또는 섬유모세포의 증식에 의한 telomerase의 활성을 알아보고자 하였다. 방법: 20년 이상 광부 작업력이 있는 탄광부 8명과 폐종양 8명, 대조군으로 교통사고에 의한 사망 6명의 부검을 통한 폐장내 telomerase 활성을 telomeric repeat amplication protocol(TRAP) 분석 방법을 이용하여 측정하였다. 결과: 탄광부 부검폐조직 내의 telomerase 활성도가 대조군에 비하여 유의하게 증가되었으며 이는 폐종양군과 같은 수준이었다. 결론: 탄광부 진폐증에서 폐장내 과도한 세포증식이 telomerase 활성을 증가시키며, 이에 관한 기전에 대해 보다 폭넓은 연구가 필요하다.


Objective: We measured the activity of telomerase in coal workers lung tissue and found a significant increase in telomerase activity compared to the control group. Pneumoconiosis has the characteristics of fibroblast proliferation and the accumulation of collagen, thus finally causing the pathologic changes, which lead to the irreversible and progressive fibrosis of the lungs. We hypothesized that this cellular proliferation causing irreversible fibrosis may induce some elongation of the life cycle in the chromosomes and lead to further cellular immortalization. Method: 8 postmortem (within 24 hours) pneumoconiotic cases were examined and their telomerase activity was compared with that of the autopsied lungs of lung cancer patients and of accident victims without any respiratory diseases. Using the extracted ribo-nucleoprotein from pneumoconiotic nodules, telomeric repeat amplification assay (TRAP) was done. Result: The pneumoconiotic lungs showed strong telomerase activity, similar to that of the lung cancer patients, while the control group showed no such activity. Conclusion: Based on the results of this study, we found that coal dust-induced cellular proliferation affects telomerase-activity clinically.