Air Quality, Atmosphere & Health

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 379–387 | Cite as

(1 → 3) β-Glucan induces multimodal toxicity responses in parallel exposures of model human lung epithelial cells and immature macrophage

  • Jane Turner
  • Kevin McCabe
  • John Snawder
  • Mark HernandezEmail author


Many epidemiological studies have associated bioaerosol exposures with a variety of adverse health effects; however, the role of bioaerosol components in the development and manifestation of hypersensitivity and non-infectious respiratory diseases remains unclear. Despite many studies which have examined allergic responses to bioaerosols, less is known about non-allergenic effects. In order to elucidate the mechanisms by which bioaerosols can exert non-atopic stresses on a cellular level, there is a need for improving existing in vitro approaches. In response, a cohort of toxicology assays were optimized to create a robust analytical suite for studying the effects that biogenic atmospheric pollutants generate on two model human lung cell lines (A549 epithelial line and GDM-1 immature macrophage line). To demonstrate the utility for studying the cellular responses to select bioaerosols, cells exposed to curdlan (a linear (1 → 3)-β-glucan) were examined in a composite cytometry platform. Results suggest that curdlan has the potential to elicit significant responses in A549 and GDM-1 in two or more toxicological modes associated with exposure to airborne particulate matter. As designed, this suite provided a more powerful tool for characterizing curdlan-induced toxicological potential than any individual assay. Responses to curdlan were distinctly modal and cell line dependent, suggesting that the use of a suite of toxicological assays, in a common platform on different cell lines, can help provide important insights into the formative toxigenic responses that primary bioaerosols can induce in respiratory cells.


Airborne particulate matter Bioaerosol Curdlan Toxicity In vitro 



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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Civil, Environmental and Architectural EngineeringUniversity of ColoradoBoulderUSA
  2. 2.National Institute of Occupational Safety and HealthCincinnatiUSA

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