Agricultural dust exposure results in significant lung inflammation, and individuals working in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) are at risk for chronic airway inflammatory diseases. Exposure of bronchial epithelial cells to aqueous extracts of hog CAFO dusts (HDE) leads to inflammatory cytokine production that is driven by protein kinase C (PKC) activation. cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA)-activating agents can inhibit PKC activation in epithelial cells, leading to reduced inflammatory cytokine production following HDE exposure. β2-Adrenergic receptor agonists (β2-agonists) activate PKA, and we hypothesized that β2-agonists would beneficially impact HDE-induced adverse airway inflammatory consequences. Bronchial epithelial cells were cultured with the short-acting β2-agonist salbutamol or the longacting β2-agonist salmeterol prior to stimulation with HDE. β2-Agonist treatment significantly increased PKA activation and significantly decreased HDE-stimulated IL-6 and IL-8 production in a concentration-and time-dependent manner. Salbutamol treatment significantly reduced HDE-induced intracellular adhesion molecule-1 expression and neutrophil adhesion to epithelial cells. Using an established intranasal inhalation exposure model, we found that salbutamol pretreatment reduced airway neutrophil influx and IL-6, TNF-α, CXCL1, and CXCL2 release in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid following a one-time exposure to HDE. Likewise, when mice were pretreated daily with salbutamol prior to HDE exposure for 3 wk, HDE-induced neutrophil influx and inflammatory mediator production were also reduced. The severity of HDE-induced lung pathology in mice repetitively exposed to HDE for 3 wk was also decreased with daily salbutamol pretreatment. Together, these results support the need for future clinical investigations to evaluate the utility of β2-agonist therapies in the treatment of airway inflammation associated with CAFO dust exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L101-L110
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016


  • Agricultural dusts
  • Bronchial epithelial cells
  • Concentrated animal feeding operations
  • Lung inflammation
  • β-agonists

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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