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Nat Toxins. 1998;6(1):27-33.

Effects of Stachybotrys chartarum (atra) conidia and isolated toxin on lung surfactant production and homeostasis.

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Department of Biology, St. Mary's University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.


This study evaluated the effects of Stachybotrys chartarum conidia and a trichothecene, isosatratoxin-F, on choline incorporation into DSPC by fetal rabbit alveolar type II cells and on alveolar surfactant subtypes in mice. Exposure of fetal rabbit type II cells to S. chartarum conidia at concentrations of 10(3) to 10(6) conidia ml(-1) significantly depressed [3H] choline incorporation after 24 h of exposure. Exposure of the rabbit cells to 10(5) to 10(6) conidia ml(-1) also resulted in significantly depressed [3H] choline uptake after 48 h. Additionally, fetal rabbit alveolar type II cells exposed to isosatratoxin-F in concentrations ranging from 10(-9) to 10(-4) M showed a significant reduction in [3H] choline incorporation into DSPC. Alveolar surfactant phospholipid concentrations in the different metabolic subfractions of lung lavage fluid of mice intratracheally exposed to either 50 microl of 10(7) ml(-1) S. chartarum conidia or 50 microl 10(-7) M isosatratoxin-F showed some significant changes at 12, 24, 48, and 72 h post-exposure, compared to the surfactant subfractions of control mice which were either untreated, exposed to saline or to 50 microl of 10(-7) ml(-1) Cladosporium cladosporioides conidia. In both the S. chartarum- and the isosatratoxin-F-treated mice, exposure significantly increased P10, P100, and S100 phospholipid concentrations, while the P60 phospholipid concentrations were depressed. In contrast, C. cladosporioides-treated mice showed only one significant change in subfraction phospholipid concentration: P60 was depressed at 48 h post-exposure. These results reveal that alveolar type II cells are sensitive to exposure to S. chartarum conidia and to isosatratoxin F. Sensitivity is manifest by alterations in the normal metabolic processing of alveolar surfactant. In exposed mice, this effect appears to involve a significant increase in newly secreted surfactant and an accumulation of the used surfactant forms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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