Macrophages and inflammatory mediators in pulmonary injury induced by mustard vesicants

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2016 Jun;1374(1):168-75. doi: 10.1111/nyas.13123. Epub 2016 Jun 28.


Sulfur mustard (SM) and nitrogen mustard (NM) are cytotoxic alkylating agents that cause severe and progressive injury to the respiratory tract, resulting in significant morbidity and mortality. Evidence suggests that macrophages and the inflammatory mediators they release play roles in both acute and long-term pulmonary injuries caused by mustards. In this article, we review the pathogenic effects of SM and NM on the respiratory tract and potential inflammatory mechanisms contributing to this activity.

Keywords: inflammatory mediators; macrophages; mustards; pulmonary toxicity.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Inflammation Mediators / metabolism*
  • Irritants / toxicity*
  • Lung / drug effects
  • Lung / pathology
  • Lung Injury / chemically induced*
  • Lung Injury / pathology*
  • Macrophages / drug effects
  • Macrophages / metabolism
  • Macrophages / pathology*
  • Mustard Gas / toxicity*


  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Irritants
  • Mustard Gas