Leakage of unpolymerized methacrylate monomers after placement of methacrylate-containing polymeric dental materials leads to human exposure. Based on studies using murine macrophages and LPS from Escherichia coli (E. coli), dental monomers like 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA) are known to inhibit lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induced cytokine release.
The airways of dental personnel can be exposed to low concentrations of HEMA on a daily basis. Thus, we aimed to explore altered gene expression in a bronchial epithelial cell line after exposure to “non-lethal” concentrations of HEMA, demonstrated to be 2 mM or below in the current model system. We show that the expression of a number of genes was altered in HEMA exposed cells.