, Volume 29, Issue 1, pp 39–45 | Cite as

Exposure to Organic Dust Causes Activation of Human Plasma Complement Factors C3 and B and the Synthesis of Factor C3 by Lung Epithelial Cells In Vitro

  • Fernando Acevedo
  • Lena Palmberg
  • Kjell Larsson
Original Articles


Exposure in swine confinement buildings induces an intense airway inflammation. Twenty-two volunteers, of whom eleven wore a half-mask, were exposed for 3 hr in a swine barn. Blood samples were drawn before and after exposure. The ratio C3b/totalC3 in plasma decreased from 6.8 to 5.0% (p = 0.02) without mask and from 6.6 to 5.9% (p = 0.01) with mask (p = 0.67 between groups). The ratio Bb/totalB decreased from 14.5 to 13.5% (p < 0.01) without and 14.6–13.3% (p = 0.09) with mask (p = 0.25 between groups). Epithelial cells (A549) incubated up to 24 hr with 0.1 mg/mL dust suspensions were analysed for C3, IL-6 and IL-8 secretion. Cumulative C3 synthesis of dust stimulated cell cultures was 43,000 pg/mL compared to 25,000 pg/mL in unstimulated cells. Cumulative dust-induced IL-6 and IL-8 secretion was 200 and 3000 pg/mL, respectively and below detection in unstimulated cells.The activation of complement in vivo and induced C3 synthesis by epithelial cells suggests a role of complement in the airway reaction to organic dust exposure.

Key Words

organic dust complement interleukines IL-6 IL-8 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Sahu, A., J. O. Sunyer, et al. 1998. Structure, functions, and evolution of the third complement component and viral molecular mimicry. Immunol. Res. 17(1–2):109–121.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Donham, K., P. Haglind, et al. 1989. Environmental and health studies of farm workers in Swedish swine confinement buildings. Br. J. Ind. Med. 46(1):31–37.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Donham, K. J. 1990. Health effects from work in swine confinement buildings. Am. J. Ind. Med. 17(1):17–25.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Larsson, K., A. Eklund, et al. 1992. Alterations in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid but not in lung function and bronchial responsiveness in swine confinement workers. Chest 101(3):767–774.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Larsson, B. M., L. Palmberg, et al. 1997. Effect of exposure to swine dust on levels of IL-8 in airway lavage fluid. Thorax 52(7):638–642.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Wang, Z., K. Larsson, et al. 1997. Inhalation of swine dust induces cytokine release in the upper and lower airways. Eur. Respir. J. 10(2):381–387.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Wang, Z., P. Malmberg, et al. 1996. Time course of interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factoralpha increase in serum following inhalation of swine dust. Am. J. Respir. Crit Care Med. 153(1):147–152.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    O'Sullivan, S., S. E. Dahlen, et al. 1998. Exposure of healthy volunteers to swine house dust increases formation of leukotrienes, prostaglandin D2, and bronchial responsiveness to methacholine. Thorax 53(12):1041–1046.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Sundblad, B. M., B. M. Larsson, et al. 2002. Exhaled nitric oxide and bronchial responsiveness in healthy subjects exposed to organic dust. Eur. Respir. J. 20(2):426–431.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Sundblad, B. M., L. Palmberg, et al. 2002. Bronchial responsiveness to eucapnic hyperventilation and methacholine following exposure to organic dust. Chest 122(1):363–368.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Wang, Z., P. Malmberg, et al. 1999. Swine dust induces cytokine secretion from human epithelial cells and alveolar macrophages. Clin Exp. Immunol. 115(1):6–12.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Palmberg, L., B. M. Larsson, et al. 1998. Induction of IL-8 production in human alveolar macrophages and human bronchial epithelial cells in vitro by swine dust. Thorax 53(4):260–264.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Pedersen, S., M. Nonnenmann, et al. 2000. Dust in pig buildings. Int. Symp. on Neuro-Fuzzy Syst., Proc. 6(4):261–274.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Iversen, M., S. Kirychuk, et al. 2000. Human health effects of dust exposure in animal confinement buildings. Int. Symp. Neuro-Fuzzy Syst. Proc. 6(4):283–288.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Reid, K. B. M. 1998. Classical pathway of activation. The complement system. H. G. M. Heildelberg, Springer-Verlag: pp. 68–92.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Acevedo, F. 1999. Simple quantification of complement factors C3 and C3b using separation by isotachophoresis. Electrophoresis 20(3):469–472.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Acevedo, F. 1989. Isotachophoresis of proteins. J. Chromatogr., A 470(2):407–414.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Acevedo, F. 1991. Use of discrete spacers for the separation of proteins by gel isotachophoresis. J. Chromatogr. A 545:391–396.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Andrews, A. T. 1986. Electrophoresis—theory, techniques, and Biochemical and Clinical applications. Oxford, Oxford Science.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Ek, A., K. Larsson, et al. 1999. Fluticasone and budesonide inhibit cytokine release in human lung epithelial cells and alveolar macrophages. Allergy 54(7):691–699.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Strunk, R. C., D. M. Eidlen, et al. 1988. Pulmonary alveolar type II epithelial cells synthesize and secrete proteins of the classical and alternative complement pathways. J. Clin. Invest. 81(5):1419–1426.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Zhao, Y. X., A. Andoh, et al. 2000. Secretion of complement components of the alternative pathway (C3 and factor B) by the human alveolar type II epithelial cell line A549. Int. J. Mol. Med. 5(4):415–419.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Pasch, M. C., N. H. Van Den Bosch, et al. 2000. Synthesis of complement components C3 and factor B in human keratinocytes is differentially regulated by cytokines. J. Invest. Dermatol. 114(1):78–82.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Kirkhorn, S. R., and V. F. Garry. 2000. Agricultural lung diseases. Environ. Health Perspect. 108(Suppl. 4):705–712.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Wang, Z., A. Manninen, et al. 1998. Inhalation of swine-house dust increases the concentrations of interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta) and interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-lra) in peripheral blood. Respir. Med. 92(8):1022–1027.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Kaca, W., E. Literacka, et al. (2000). Complement activation by Proteus mirabilis negatively charged lipopolysaccharides. J. Endotoxin. Res. 6(3):223–234.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Palmberg, L., B. M. Larsson, et al. (2004). Partial protection by respirators on airways responses following exposure in a swine house. Am. J. Ind. Med. 46(4):363–370.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Michel, O., J. Duchateau, et al. 1989. Effect of inhaled endotoxin on bronchial reactivity in asthmatic and normal subjects. J. Appl. Physiol. 66(3):1059–1064.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Larsson, B. M., K. Larsson, et al. 2002. Airways inflammation after exposure in a swine confinement building during cleaning procedure. Am. J. Ind. Med. 41(4):250–258.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Zhiping, W., P. Malmberg, et al. 1996. Exposure to bacteria in swine-house dust and acute inflammatory reactions in humans. Am. J. Respir. Crit. Care Med. 154(5):1261–1266.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Larsson, B. M., K. Larsson, et al. 1999. Gram positive bacteria induce IL-6 and IL-8 production in human alveolar macrophages and epithelial cells. Inflammation 23(3):217–230.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fernando Acevedo
    • 1
  • Lena Palmberg
    • 1
  • Kjell Larsson
    • 1
  1. 1.Lung and Allergy ResearchInstitute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska InstituteStockholmSweden

Personalised recommendations