The Effect of Inhalant Organic Dust on Bone Health

Joseph M. Carrington, Jill A. Poole

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: Agriculture remains a major economic sector globally, and workers experience high rates of chronic inflammatory lung and musculoskeletal diseases. Whereas obstructive pulmonary diseases are known risk factors for bone loss, the underlying relationship between lung inflammation and bone health is not well known. Recent Findings: An agriculture organic dust extract inhalation animal model has recently linked lung injury-induced inflammation to systemic bone loss. This process is dependent upon lipopolysaccharide and the toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) signaling pathway. Downstream systemic interleukin-6 is a key mediator that subsequently activates osteoclastogenesis. Age is a host factor that impacted bone disease with younger mice demonstrating increased susceptibility to bone loss following inhalant exposures as compared to older mice. Supplemental dietary vitamin D was shown to prevent organic dust-induced bone loss, but not lung disease, in animals. Summary: Recent animal studies provide new mechanistic insight into the lung-bone inflammatory axis. Host factors, diet, and lipopolysaccharide/TLR4 signaling pathways play a significant role in explaining how inhalant organic dust exposures impact bone health. These investigations might lead to specific targeted therapeutic approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number16
JournalCurrent allergy and asthma reports
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018


  • Bone
  • COPD
  • Endotoxin
  • Interleukin (IL)-6
  • Organic dust
  • Toll-like receptor 4/TLR4

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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