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Laboratory and Animal Investigations |

Pharmacologic Properties of Brewery Dust Extracts In Vitro*

E. Neil Schachter, MD, FCCP; Eugenija Zuskin, MD; Nicholas Rienzi, MS; Satindra Goswami, PhD; Vincent Castranova, PhD; Michael Whitmer, BS; Paul Siegel, PhD
Author and Funding Information

*From the Mount Sinai School of Medicine (Drs. Schachter, Rienzi, and Goswami), New York, NY; the Andrija Stampar School of Public Health (Dr. Zuskin) Zagreb, Croatia; and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (Drs. Castranova, Whitmer, and Siegel), Morgantown, WV.

Correspondence to: E. Neil Schachter, MD, FCCP, The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, One Gustave L. Levy Pl, New York, NY 10029-6574;



Chest. 2001;119(6):1870-1877. doi:10.1378/chest.119.6.1870
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Study objectives: To study the effects of extracts of brewery dust on isolated guinea pig tracheal smooth muscle in vitro. Design: Parallel pharmacologic intervention on guinea pig tracheal rings that were obtained from the same animal. Setting: Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Department of Pulmonary Medicine. Material: The isolated guinea pig tracheal tissue of 18 guinea pigs. Interventions: Pretreatment of guinea pig rings by mediator-modifying agents before challenge with the brewery dust extracts. Measurements and results: The effect of brewery dust extracts on isolated guinea pig tracheal smooth muscle was studied using water-soluble extracts of dust obtained from brewery materials, including hops, barley, and brewery yeast. Dust extracts were prepared as a 1:10 (wt/vol) aqueous solution. Dose-related contractions of nonsensitized guinea pig tracheas were demonstrated using these extracts. The dust extracts contained significant quantities of bacterial components (eg, endotoxin and n-formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine), but these agents were not thought to contribute directly to the constrictor effect of the dusts. Pharmacologic studies were performed by pretreating guinea pig tracheal tissue with the following drugs known to modulate smooth muscle contraction: atropine; indomethacin; pyrilamine; LY171883; nordihydroguaiaretic acid; captopril; thiorphan; verapamil; and TMB8. The constrictor effects of the dust extracts were inhibited by a wide variety of agents, the patterns of which depended on the dust extract. Atropine consistently and strikingly reduced the contractile effects of these extracts. These observations may suggest an interaction of the extracts with parasympathetic nerves or, more directly, with muscarinic receptors. The inhibition of contraction by the blocking of other mediators was less effective and varied with the dust extract. Conclusions: We suggest that brewery dust extracts cause a dose-related airway smooth muscle constriction by nonimmunologic mechanisms involving a variety of airway mediators and, possibly, cholinergic receptors. This effect is not dependent on presensitization of the guinea pigs.

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