Alveolar macrophage recruitment and activation by chronic second hand smoke exposure in Mice

Prescott G. Woodruff, Almut Ellwanger, Margaret Solon, Christopher J. Cambier, Kent E Pinkerton, Laura L. Koth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Approximately 15 of cases of COPD occur in non-smokers. Among the potential risk factors for COPD in non-smokers is second-hand smoke (SHS) exposure. However, the Surgeon General reported in 2006 that the evidence linking second hand smoke and COPD is insufficient to infer a causal relationship, largely because current evidence does not establish a biological link. The goal of this study was to determine whether SHS exposure can induce alveolar macrophage recruitment and expression of activation markers that we have previously demonstrated in human smokers and in mouse models of emphysema. To achieve these goals, we studied mice exposed to an ambient mixture of predominantly [89] sidestream smoke at increasing doses over 3 months. We found that second hand smoke exposure induced a dose-dependent increase in alveolar macrophage recruitment (mean ± sd; 224,511 ± 52,330 vs 166,152 ± 47,989 macrophages/ml of bronchoalveolar lavage in smoke-exposed vs air-exposed controls at 3 months, p 0.003). We also found increased expression of several markers of alveolar macrophage activation (PLA2g7, dkfzp434l142, Trem-2, and pirin, all p < 0.01 at 3 months) and increased lavage levels of two inflammatory mediators associated with COPD (CCL2 [MCP-1], 58 ± 12 vs. 43 ± 22 pg/ml, p 0.03; and TNFα, 138 ± 43 vs 88 ± 78 pg/ml, p 0.04 at 3 months). These findings indicate that second smoke exposure can cause macrophage recruitment and activation, providing a biological link between second-hand smoke exposure and the development of inflammatory processes linked to COPD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)86-94
Number of pages9
JournalCOPD: Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2009


  • Cigarette smoke
  • Cytokine
  • Inflammation
  • Macrophage
  • Tobacco

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Medicine(all)


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