The dust of hog confinement facilities induces airway inflammation. Mechanisms by which this dust modulates inflammation are not completely defined, although it is clear that exposure to dust can modulate both epithelial cell and inflammatory cell function. In this work, we demonstrate that airway epithelial cell (BEAS-2B) treatment with hog barn dust extract (HDE) results in augmentation of peripheral blood lymphocyte adhesion to epithelial cell cultures in vitro. The augmentation of lymphocyte adhesion to epithelial cells is dependent on the concentration of HDE and time of HDE exposure, with twofold increases observed by 3 h and maintained at 24 h. Similar results are seen with primary human bronchial epithelial cells in culture. Lymphocyte adhesion to epithelial cells is inhibited in a concentration-dependent fashion by the treatment of epithelial cells with antibody to intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1). In addition, HDE exposure of epithelial cells results in an approximate twofold increase in ICAM-1 expression as determined by flow cytometry analysis. Pretreatment of epithelial cells with a protein kinase C-α (PKC-α) inhibitor, Gö-6976, also inhibited subsequent lymphocyte adhesion to HDE-exposed epithelial cells. These data suggest that airway epithelial cell HDE exposure enhances subsequent lymphocyte adhesion to epithelial cells that is mediated in part by HDE modulation of ICAM-1 expression and PKC-α.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1738-1744
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2004


  • Interferon-gamma
  • Lipopolysaccharide
  • Lung
  • Swine confinement workers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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