Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC Davis

UC Davis Previously Published Works bannerUC Davis

Co-exposure to zymosan A and heat-inactivated Asian sand dust exacerbates ovalbumin-induced murine lung eosinophilia.



Epidemiological studies have implicated Asian sand dust (ASD) in the increased prevalence of respiratory disorders, including asthma. It has been observed that fungal elements such as β-glucan can be adsorbed onto ASD. In the present study, the exacerbating effect of the combined exposure to zymosan A (ZymA) containing yeast β-glucan and heat-inactivated ASD on ovalbumin (OVA)-induced murine lung eosinophilia was investigated.


BALB/c mice were repeatedly instilled intratracheally with one of eight immunogenic formulations consisting of various combinations of (1) ZymA, (2) ASD that was briefly heated to remove organic substances (H-ASD), and (3) OVA in normal saline, or each of the above alone. Pathologic changes, cytological alterations in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF), changes in inflammatory cytokines and chemokines in BALF, and OVA-specific IgE and IgG1 antibodies in serum were investigated.


Exposure to ZymA with or without OVA had no effect on most indicators of lung inflammation. Exposure to H-ASD with OVA increased the recruitment of inflammatory cells to the lungs and the serum levels of OVA-specific IgE and IgG1. The combination OVA + ZymA + H-ASD induced a marked recruitment of eosinophils and upregulation of T helper 2 (Th2) cytokines (interleukin [IL]-4 and IL-13), IL-6, eotaxin/CCL11, and monocyte chemotactic protein (MCP)-3/CCL7 in BALF and OVA-specific IgE in serum. This treatment also induced the most severe pathological changes in the lungs of mice. ZymA was found to boost the effects of H-ASD, thereby exacerbating the OVA-induced allergic inflammation, even though ZymA alone did not have such effect.


The results suggest that fungal elements such as β-1,3-glucan aggravate the allergic inflammation caused by ASD. Our findings may facilitate prophylaxis of some allergic diseases in Asia.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View