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Comparison of inflammatory elements in nasal lavage and induced sputum following occupational exposure to moldy-building microbes

Comparison of inflammatory elements in nasal lavage and induced sputum following occupational exposure to moldy-building microbes

Inhalation Toxicology 14(6): 653-662

ISSN/ISBN: 0895-8378

PMID: 12119074

DOI: 10.1080/08958370290084557

Inflammatory processes in the nasal air passages may reflect corresponding processes in the lower airways due to the similarities in histology of nasal mucosa and bronchi. The objective of the current study was to determine whether the levels of inflammatory markers in nasal lavage fluid could be used as predictors of lower respiratory tract inflammation after exposure to microbes in indoor air of moisture-damaged buildings. Differential cell count, immunochemically measured concentrations of proinflammatory cytokines (Interleukins [IL] IL-1, IL-4, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor alpha [TNFalpha]) and nitric oxide (NO), assessed as nitrite, were analyzed from nasal lavage (NL) and induced sputum (IS) samples of the occupants (n = 60) working in moisture-damaged and reference school buildings. The measurements of inflammation markers in NL and IS sample pairs, collected on the same day, were compared. Although the levels of NO (p =.026) and IL-4 (p =.014) in NL predicted their levels in IS in a statistically significant manner, their predictive values (6.9% and 7.8%, respectively) were low. There was no significant correlation between the concentrations of the studied proinflammatory cytokines or differential cell counts in NL and IS samples. Our results indicate that measurement of inflammatory mediators in NL is not per se a reliable method to evaluate the inflammatory status of the lower airways after exposure to indoor air pollutants of moisture damaged building. It is possible that NL is a more sensitive indicator of direct exposure to different irritants in inhaled air than is IS. This may be a reflection of the role of nasal mucosa as the primary physicochemical barrier to inhaled air.

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Accession: 003687586

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