Aluminium and human breast diseases
Darbre, P. D., Pugazhendhi, D. and Mannello, F. (2011) Aluminium and human breast diseases. Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry, 105 (11). pp. 1484-1488. ISSN 0162-0134
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/j.jinorgbio.2011.07.017
The human breast is exposed to aluminium from many sources including diet and personal care products, but dermal application of aluminium-based antiperspirant salts provides a local long-term source of exposure. Recent measurements have shown that aluminium is present in both tissue and fat of the human breast but at levels which vary both between breasts and between tissue samples from the same breast. We have recently found increased levels of aluminium in noninvasively collected nipple aspirate fluids taken from breast cancer patients (mean 268±28 g/l) compared with control healthy subjects (mean 131±10 g/l) providing evidence of raised aluminium levels in the breast microenvironment when cancer is present. The measurement of higher levels of aluminium in type I human breast cyst fluids (median 150g/l) compared with human serum (median 6g/l) or human milk (median 25g/l) warrants further investigation into any possible role of aluminium in development of this benign breast disease. Emerging evidence for aluminium in several breast structures now requires biomarkers of aluminium action in order to ascertain whether the presence of aluminium has any biological impact. To this end, we report raised levels of proteins that modulate iron homeostasis (ferritin, transferrin) in parallel with raised aluminium in nipple aspirate fluids in vivo, and we report overexpression of mRNA for several S100 calcium binding proteins following long-term exposure of MCF-7 human breast cancer cells in vitro to aluminium chlorhydrate.