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Inhal Toxicol. 2001 Mar;13(3):233-47.

Induction of cytotoxicity and production of inflammatory mediators in raw264.7 macrophages by spores grown on six different plasterboards.

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National Public Health Institute, Division of Environmental Health, PO Box 95, FIN-70701 Kuopio, Finland.


Dampness and microbial growth in buildings are associated with respiratory symptoms in the occupants, but details of the phenomenon are not sufficiently understood. The current study examined the effects of growth conditions provided by six plasterboards on cytotoxicity and inflammatory potential of the spores of Streptomyces californicus, Penicillium spinulosum, Aspergillus versicolor, and Stachybotrys chartarum. The microbes were isolated from mold problem buildings and thereafter grown on six different plasterboards. The spores were harvested, applied to RAW264.7 macrophages (10(4), 10(5), 10(6) spores/10(6) cells), and evaluated 24 h after exposure for the ability to cause cytotoxicity and to stimulate production of nitric oxide (NO), interleukin-1 beta (IL-1beta), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha) and interleukin-6 (IL-6). The data indicate clear differences between spores of different microbes in their ability to induce the production of these inflammatory mediators and to cause cell death in macrophages. Also, for each microbe, the induction ability specifically depended on the brand of plasterboard. The spores of Streptomyces californicus collected from all plasterboards were the most potent at inducing NO and cytokine production. Cytotoxicity caused by P. spinulosum and Streptomyces californicus spores was consistent with NO, IL-1beta and IL-6 production induced by those microbes. However, the production of these inflammatory mediators by the spores of Stachybotrys chartarum was not parallel to their ability to cause cell death. The low productions of NO and cytokines were associated with high cytotoxicity caused by the spores of the A. versicolor. These data suggest that growth condition of microbes on different plasterboards affect the ability of microbial spores to induce inflammatory responses and cytotoxicity in macrophages.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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