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Eur Respir J. 2000 Jul;16(1):140-5.

Cytokine release from the nasal mucosa and whole blood after experimental exposures to organic dusts.

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  • 1Institute of Environmental & Occupational Medicine, University of Aarhus, Denmark.


The aim of this study was to assess the cytokine response after nasal exposure to organic dusts. In a double blinded, crossover study five garbage workers with occupational airway symptoms and five healthy garbage workers were intranasally exposed to endotoxin (lipopolysaccharide LPS), beta-1,3-D-glucan (GLU), Aspergillus sp., compost or the saline dilute for 15 min. Nasal cavity volume and nasal lavage (NAL) were performed at baseline and 3, 6, 11 h postexposure. NAL was analysed with differential cell counts, cysteinyl-leukotrienes, tumour necrosis factor alpha, interleukin (IL)-1beta, IL-6 and IL-8. A whole blood assay on cytokine-release was performed with LPS and GLU. NAL cytokines neutrophils, lymphocytes and albumin increased significantly at 6 h after LPS exposure. GLU induced an increase in albumin and a slight increase in IL-1beta 6-11 h post exposure. In the WBA a significant increase in all cytokines after exposure to LPS as well as GLU was found. Significantly more cells were seen in NAL of the control group 6 h post LPS exposure. In conclusion lipopolysaccharide is the most potent inducer of inflammation in the nasal mucosa whereas compost and beta-1,3-D-glucan only induce minor changes. This reaction to lipopolysaccharide is attenuated in workers with occupational airway symptoms. In whole blood assay, however, beta-1,3-D-glucan also induces cytokine release, indicating a different protective effect of the nasal mucosa towards lipopolysaccharide and beta-1,3-D-glucan.

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