Background: Agriculture organic dust exposures induce lung disease with lymphoid aggregates comprised of both T and B cells. The precise role of B cells in mediating lung inflammation is unknown, yet might be relevant given the emerging role of B cells in obstructive pulmonary disease and associated autoimmunity. Methods: Using an established animal model, C57BL/6 wild-type (WT) and B-cell receptor (BCR) knock-out (KO) mice were repetitively treated with intranasal inhalation of swine confinement organic dust extract (ODE) daily for 3 weeks and lavage fluid, lung tissues, and serum were collected. Results: ODE-induced neutrophil influx in lavage fluid was not reduced in BCR KO animals, but there was reduction in TNF-α, IL-6, CXCL1, and CXCL2 release. ODE-induced lymphoid aggregates failed to develop in BCR KO mice. There was a decrease in ODE-induced lung tissue CD11c+CD11b+ exudative macrophages and compensatory increase in CD8+ T cells in lavage fluid of BCR KO animals. Compared to saline, there was an expansion of conventional B2-, innate B1 (CD19+CD11b+CD5+/-)-, and memory (CD19+CD273+/-CD73+/-) B cells following ODE exposure in WT mice. Autoreactive responses including serum IgG anti-citrullinated protein antibody (ACPA) and anti-malondialdehyde-acetaldehyde (MAA) autoantibodies were increased in ODE treated WT mice as compared to saline control. B cells and serum immunoglobulins were not detected in BCR KO animals. Conclusions: Lung tissue staining for citrullinated and MAA modified proteins were increased in ODE-treated WT animals, but not BCR KO mice. These studies show that agriculture organic dust induced lung inflammation is dependent upon B cells, and dust exposure induces an autoreactive response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number214
JournalRespiratory Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 22 2017


  • ACPA
  • Autoantibody
  • Immunoglobulin
  • Inflammation
  • Lung
  • MAA adduct
  • Organic dust

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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