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Wood dust-induced inflammation response in mouse lung macrophages in vitro and in mouse model in vivo

Results of the our in vitro investigations with murine macrophages demonstrate that wood dust is able to induce a heterogeneous expression of cytokines and chemokines in mouse macrophage RAW 264.7 cell line. The effects of the two studied wood dust groups, softwood and hardwoods, on the cytokine and chemokine expression of RAW 264.7 cells appeared to be at comparable levels in general. However, some differences were also detected in responses in RAW 264.7 cells. Oak dust was weaker inducer of cytokine and chemokine expression than birch dust in RAW 264.7 cells.

Our in vivo studies demonstrate that repeated exposure to wood dust can elicit lung inflammation in mice. Both oak and birch dusts are able to induce the recruitment of macrophages, lymphocytes, neutrophils, and eosinophils into the lungs of mice. Oak and birch dust exposure elicited quantitative and qualitative differences in pulmonary inflammation suggesting that different wood species may also have differences in elicitation of inflammatory responses. Of note was the finding that in mice in vivo, in the presence of all resident lung cells, repeated oak dust exposure induced stronger cytokine and chemokine expression than birch dust.

The studies with the mouse model demonstrated that repeated exposure to wood dust is able to modulate allergic asthma. In all, our results suggest that both hardwood and softwood dusts can influence the development of the inflammatory process through macrophages by modulating the expression of macrophage derived cytokines and chemokines, which are the key molecules in the regulation of leukocyte recruitment to the site of inflammation.

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