The US Air Force has implemented the widespread use of JP-8 jet fuel in its operations, although a thorough understanding of its potential effects upon exposed personnel is unclear. Previous work has demonstrated that JP-8 exposure is immunosuppressive. In the present study, the potential mechanisms for the effects of JP-8 exposure on the immune system were investigated. Exposure of mice to JP-8 for 1 h/day resulted in immediate secretion of two immunosuppressive agents; namely, interleukin-10 (IL-10) and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2). JP-8 exposure rapidly induced a persistently high level of serum IL-10 and PGE2 at an exposure concentration of 1000 mg/m3. IL-10 levels peaked at 2h post-JP-8 exposure and then stabilized at significantly elevated serum levels, while PGE2 levels peaked after 2—3 days of exposure and then stabilized. Elevated IL-10 and PGE2 levels may at least partially explain the effects of JP-8 exposure on immune function. Elevated IL-10 and PGE2 levels, however, cannot explain all of the effects due to JP-8 exposure (e.g., decreased organ weights and decreased viable immune cells), as treatment with a PGE2 inhibitor did not completely reverse the immunosuppressive effects of jet fuel exposure. Thus, low concentration JP-8 jet fuel exposures have significant effects on the immune system, which can be partially explained by the secretion of immunosuppressive modulators, which are cumulative over time.
- hydrocarbon inhalation
- jet fuel
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis