Formaldehyde (FA) is a well-known cytotoxic irritant to the airways, but the mechanism of airway inflammation due to FA has not been clarified. In the present study, C57BL/6 mice were exposed to two concentrations (5 and 10 ppm) of FA for 6 h/day, 5 days/week, for 2 weeks. The FA-exposed mice had much higher number of CCR3+ eosinophils than control mice, and showed upregulated gene expression of CC-chemokine receptor-3 (CCR3), eotaxin and intercellular adhesion molecules-1 (ICAM-1) as well as an increased expression of proinflammatory and Th2 cytokines, such as interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-4 and IL-5. In addition, FA exposure revealed a considerable increase in the serum levels of IgG1, IgG3, IgA and IgE compared to controls. Histopathological analysis of the lung tissues demonstrated eosinophils and mononuclear cell infiltration of the alveolar cell walls and alveolar spaces. Gene expression of thioredoxin (TRX), redox-regulating antioxidant proteins, was markedly suppressed in FA-exposed mice, and thereby intracellular ROS levels were increased along with increased FA concentration. These results were consistent with an increase in the number of CCR3-expressing eosinophils, and indicate that FA-induced ROS was generated from eosinophils recruited to the inflammatory sites of the airways.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by a grant of the Ministry of Environment as “The Eco-Technopia 21 project” and by the National R&D Program for Cancer Control, Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (0420160-1).
- Airway inflammation
- Reactive oxygen species
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis