Endotoxin responsiveness and grain dust-induced inflammation in the lower respiratory tract

Am J Physiol. 1994 Nov;267(5 Pt 1):L609-17. doi: 10.1152/ajplung.1994.267.5.L609.


To identify the role of endotoxin responsiveness in grain dust-induced airway disease, we used two models of extotoxin hyporesponsiveness to perform inhalation exposure studies in mice. In the first model, we investigated whether genetic resistance to endotoxin would alter the inflammatory response to inhaled grain dust by comparing the inflammatory response in the lower respiratory tract of endotoxin-sensitive and -resistant male mice after inhalation of pyrogen-free saline, corn dust extract (CDE), sterile CDE (SCDE), or lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Endotoxin-sensitive and -resistant mice were exposed for 4 h to nebulized solutions of LPS, SCDE, or CDE. Another group of endotoxin-sensitive and -resistant mice was sham exposed for 4 h to nebulized sterile saline. Dose-response relationships for endotoxin were explored for LPS, SCDE, and CDE. Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) 5 h after the start of exposure demonstrated a higher concentration of total cells, neutrophils (PMNs), and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) in BAL fluid after inhalation of CDE, SCDE, or LPS in endotoxin-sensitive than in endotoxin-resistant mice. Whereas endotoxin-sensitive mice demonstrated a dose-response relationship between the endotoxin concentration in each of the solutions and the concentration of cells, PMNs, and TNF-alpha in BAL fluid, concentrations of TNF-alpha were significantly higher only in BAL fluid of endotoxin-resistant mice exposed to higher concentrations of SCDE or CDE. In the second model, we investigated whether acquired endotoxin tolerance would alter the inflammatory response to SCDE.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Animals
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / chemistry
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / cytology
  • Dust*
  • Edible Grain*
  • Endotoxins / pharmacology*
  • Escherichia coli
  • Inflammation / etiology
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Lipopolysaccharides / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C3H
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • Respiratory System / drug effects*
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / etiology*
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / pathology
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / analysis
  • Zea mays


  • Dust
  • Endotoxins
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha