#Fungal #Aflatoxins Reduce #Respiratory #Mucosal #Ciliary Function (Sci Rep., abstract)

[Source: Scientific Reports, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Article | OPEN

Fungal Aflatoxins Reduce Respiratory Mucosal Ciliary Function

Robert J. Lee, Alan D. Workman, Ryan M. Carey, Bei Chen, Phillip L. Rosen, Laurel Doghramji, Nithin D. Adappa, James N. Palmer, David W. Kennedy & Noam A. Cohen

Scientific Reports 6, Article number: 33221 (2016) / doi:10.1038/srep33221

Received: 26 April 2016 – Accepted: 23 August 2016 – Published online: 14 September 2016



Aflatoxins are mycotoxins secreted by Aspergillus flavus, which can colonize the respiratory tract and cause fungal rhinosinusitis or bronchopulmonary aspergillosis. A. flavus is the second leading cause of invasive aspergillosis worldwide. Because many respiratory pathogens secrete toxins to impair mucociliary immunity, we examined the effects of acute exposure to aflatoxins on airway cell physiology. Using air-liquid interface cultures of primary human sinonasal and bronchial cells, we imaged ciliary beat frequency (CBF), intracellular calcium, and nitric oxide (NO). Exposure to aflatoxins (0.1 to 10 μM; 5 to 10 minutes) reduced baseline (~6–12%) and agonist-stimulated CBF. Conditioned media (CM) from A. fumigatus, A. niger, and A. flavus cultures also reduced CBF by ~10% after 60 min exposure, but effects were blocked by an anti-aflatoxin antibody only with A. flavus CM. CBF reduction required protein kinase C but was not associated with changes in calcium or NO. However, AFB2 reduced NO production by ~50% during stimulation of the ciliary-localized T2R38 receptor. Using a fluorescent reporter construct expressed in A549 cells, we directly observed activation of PKC activity by AFB2. Aflatoxins secreted by respiratory A. flavus may impair motile and chemosensory functions of airway cilia, contributing to pathogenesis of fungal airway diseases.

Keywords: Research; Abstracts; Aflatoxins.


Published by

Giuseppe Michieli

I am an Italian blogger, active since 2005 with main focus on emerging infectious diseases such as avian influenza, SARS, antibiotics resistance, and many other global Health issues. Other fields of interest are: climate change, global warming, geological and biological sciences. My activity consists mainly in collection and analysis of news, public services updates, confronting sources and making decision about what are the 'signals' of an impending crisis (an outbreak, for example). When a signal is detected, I follow traces during the entire course of an event. I started in 2005 my blog ''A TIME'S MEMORY'', now with more than 40,000 posts and 3 millions of web interactions. Subsequently I added an Italian Language blog, then discontinued because of very low traffic and interest. I contributed for seven years to a public forum (FluTrackers.com) in the midst of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa in 2014, I left the site to continue alone my data tracking job.