Journal Article

Pulmonary Responses to <i>Stachybotrys chartarum</i> and Its Toxins: Mouse Strain Affects Clearance and Macrophage Cytotoxicity

Jamie H. Rosenblum Lichtenstein, Ramon M. Molina, Thomas C. Donaghey, Chidozie J. Amuzie, James J. Pestka, Brent A. Coull and Joseph D. Brain

in Toxicological Sciences

Volume 116, issue 1, pages 113-121
Published in print July 2010 | ISSN: 1096-6080
Published online April 2010 | e-ISSN: 1096-0929 | DOI:
Pulmonary Responses to Stachybotrys chartarum and Its Toxins: Mouse Strain Affects Clearance and Macrophage Cytotoxicity

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We investigated differences in the pulmonary and systemic clearance of Stachybotrys chartarum spores in two strains of mice, BALB/c and C57BL/6J. To evaluate clearance, mice were intratracheally instilled with a suspension of radiolabeled S. chartarum spores or with unlabeled spores. The lungs of C57BL/6J mice showed more rapid spore clearance than the lungs of BALB/c mice, which correlated with increased levels of spore-associated radioactivity in the GI tracts of C57BL/6J as compared with BALB/c mice. To identify mechanisms responsible for mouse strain differences in spore clearance and previously described lung inflammatory responses, we exposed alveolar macrophages (AMs) lavaged from BALB/c and C57BL/6J mice to S. chartarum spores, S. chartarum spore toxin (SST), and satratoxin G (SG) in vitro. The S. chartarum spores were found to be highly toxic with most cells from either mouse strain being killed within 24 h when exposed to a spore:cell ratio of 1:75. The spores were more lethal to AMs from C57BL/6J than those from BALB/c mice. In mice, the SST elicited many of the same inflammatory responses as the spores in vivo, including AM recruitment, pulmonary hemorrhage, and cytokine production. Our data suggest that differences in pulmonary spore clearance may contribute to the differences in pulmonary responses to S. chartarum between BALB/c and C57BL/6J mice. Enhanced AM survival and subsequent macrophage-mediated inflammation may also contribute to the higher susceptibility of BALB/c mice to S. chartarum pulmonary effects. Analogous genetic differences among humans may contribute to reported variable sensitivity to S. chartarum.

Keywords: Stachybotrys chartarum; rodent; toxicity; acute; safety evaluation; macrophage; immunotoxicology; lung; pulmonary or respiratory system; respiratory toxicology; dose-response; risk assessment

Journal Article.  6795 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

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