Interstrain variation in murine susceptibility to inhaled acid-coated particles

Yoshinori Ohtsuka, Robert W. Clarke, Wayne Mitzner, Kiana Brunson, George J. Jakab, Steven R. Kleeberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Epidemiologic studies have demonstrated a positive correlation between concentration of acid aerosol and increased morbidity and mortality in many urban environments. To determine whether genetic background is an important risk factor for susceptibility to the toxic effects of inhaled particles, we studied the interstrain (genetic) and intrastrain (environmental) variance of lung responses to acid-coated particle (ACP) aerosol in nine strains of inbred mice. A flow-past nose-only inhalation system was used to expose mice to ACPs produced by the cogeneration of a carbon black aerosol-sulfur dioxide (SO2) mixture at high humidity. Three days after a single 4-h exposure to ACPs or filtered air, mice underwent bronchoalveolar lavage, and cell differentials and total protein were determined as indexes of inflammation and epithelial permeability, respectively. To determine the effect of ACPs on alveolar macrophage (AM) function, lavaged AMs were isolated from exposed animals and Fc receptor-mediated phagocytosis was evaluated. Compared with air-exposed animals, there was a slight but significant exposure effect of ACPs on the mean number of lavageable polymorphonuclear leukocytes in C3H/HeJ and C3H/HeOuJ mice. ACP exposure also caused a significant decrease in AM phagocytosis. Relative to respective air-exposed animals, Fc receptor- mediated phagocytosis was suppressed in eight of nine strains. The order of strain-specific effect of ACPs on phagocytosis was C57BL/6J > 129/J > SJL/J > BALB/cJ > C3H/HeOuJ > A/J > SWR/J > AKR/J. There was no effect of ACP exposure on AM phagocytosis in C3H/HeJ mice. The significant interstrain variation in AM response to particle challenge indicates that genetic background has an important role in susceptibility. The effects of ACPs on AM function, inflammation, and epithelial hyperpermeability were not correlated (i.e., no cosegregation). This model may have important implications concerning interindividual variation in particle-induced compromise of host defense.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L469-L476
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number3 22-3
StatePublished - Mar 2000


  • Air pollution
  • Alveolar macrophage
  • Host defense
  • Inbred mice
  • Morbidity
  • Phagocytosis
  • Sulfate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology


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