Effects of agricultural organic dusts on human lung-resident mesenchymal stem (Stromal) cell function

Tara M. Nordgren, Kristina L. Bailey, Art J. Heires, Dawn Katafiasz, Debra J. Romberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Agricultural organic dust exposures trigger harmful airway inflammation, and workers experiencing repetitive dust exposures are at increased risk for lung disease. Mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs) regulate wound repair processes in the lung, and may contribute to either proresolution or -fibrotic lung responses. It is unknown how organic dust exposures alter lung-resident MSC activation and proinflammatory versus prorepair programs in the lung. To address this gap in knowledge, we isolated human lung-resident MSC from lung tissue. Cells were stimulated with aqueous extracts of organic dusts (DE) derived from swine confinement facilities and were assessed for changes in proliferative and migratory capacities, and production of proinflammatory and prorepair mediators. Through these investigations, we found that DE induces significant release of proinflammatory mediators TNF-α, IL-6, IL-8, and matrix metalloproteases, while also inducing the production of prorepair mediators amphiregulin, FGF-10, and resolvin D1. In addition, DE significantly reduced the growth and migratory capacities of lung-resident MSC. Together, these investigations indicate lung-resident MSC activation and wound repair activities are altered by organic dust exposures. These findings warrant future investigations to assess how organic dusts affect lung-resident mesenchymal stem/stromal cell function and impact airway inflammation, injury, and repair during agricultural aerosol exposures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)635-644
Number of pages10
JournalToxicological Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018


  • Agriculture
  • Lung inflammation
  • Mesenchymal stem cell
  • Organic dust

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


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