INHALATION OF (1 ®3)- b-D-glucan IN HUMANS

L Beijer, Ph.D., J Thorn, M.D., R Rylander, M.D.

Department of Environmental Medicine, Göteborg University, Gothenburg, Sweden; Correspondence to: Lena Beijer, Department of Environmental Medicine, Box 414, 405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden, Tel +46 31773 3614, Fax +46 80 5004, E-mail


Fourteen persons living in houses with levels of airborne glucan of at least 4 ng/m3 (G-high) and 14 subject living in houses with levels of airborne glucan of less than 3 ng/m3 (G-low), were exposed to grifolan suspended in saline as well as to saline alone. Comparing the groups before exposure showed that the G-high group had an increased TNFa secretion from the blood mononuclear cells and a lower number of cytotoxic T cells in blood compared to the G-low group. These results suggest that persons living in homes with higher levels of glucan (indicator for molds) show changes in the inflammatory and immunological system. The inhalation exposure to saline induced an increase in the secretion of TNFa, IFNg and IL-10 in PHA-stimulated blood mononuclear cells, while the exposure to the combination of glucan and saline abrogated the saline effect. This downregulation of the saline induced inflammation by glucan is in accordance with previous results in animals exposed to endotoxin and glucan.

Key words: (1 ®3)- b-D-glucan, inhalation, tumor necrosis factor a, cytotoxic T cell