Environmental Health Perspectives Volume 104, Supplement 1, March 1996 

Pulmonary Reactions to Organic Dust Exposures: Development of an Animal Model

Vincent Castranova, Victor A. Robinson, and David G. Frazer

Division of Respiratory Disease Studies, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Morgantown, West Virginia


Acute inhalation of organic dusts such as cotton, hay, silage, grain, animal confinement, or compost dust can result in illness characterized by fever, pulmonary inflammation, chest tightness, and airway obstruction. These agricultural materials are complex mixtures of plant, bacterial, and fungal products. Elucidation of the time course of disease onset, the mechanisms of disease progression, and the identity of etiologic agents is essential for effective prevention and treatment. Toward this end, animal models for acute organic dust-induced reactions have been developed and characterized. Information concerning the applicability of various animal models to humans and progress toward elucidation of causative agents and mechanisms of action is presented. -- Environ Health Perspect 104(Suppl 1):00-00 (1996)

Key words: agricultural dusts, cotton dusts, mechanisms, etiologic agents, byssinosis, organic dust toxic syndrome, endotoxin, exposure system, animal model

Manuscript received 25 July 1995; manuscript accepted 6 October 1995.

Address correspondence to Dr. Vincent Castranova, Pathology and Physiology Branch, NIOSH, 1095 Willowdale Road, Morgantown, WV 26505-2888. Telephone: (304) 285-6056. Fax: (304) 285-6126. E-mail: vic1@niords.em.cdc.gov

Abbreviations used: ODTS, organic dust toxic syndrome; FEV1, forced expiratory volume in 1 sec; HP, hypersensitivity pneumonitis; PMNs, polymorphonuclear leukocytes; BAL, bronchoalveolar lavage; RBCs, red blood cells; PAF, platelet-activating factor; TNF, tumor necrosis factor-; LPS, lipopolysaccharide; INF, interferon-; IL-6, interleukin-6; EU, endotoxin units; FMLP, n-formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine.