Inhalation of LPS induces inflammatory airway responses mimicking characteristics of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Magnus Korsgren, Margareta Linden, Neil Entwistle, Jason Cook, Per Wollmer, Morgan Andersson, Bengt Larsson, Lennart Greiff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: Inhalation of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) produces both systemic and pulmonary inflammatory responses. The aim of this study was to further characterize the response to LPS in order to develop a human model suitable for early testing of drug candidates developed for the treatment for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Materials: Blood and induced sputum were obtained 4, 24 and 48 h following inhalation of saline and LPS (5 and 50 μg). Blood was analysed for C-reactive protein (CRP), α(1) -antitrypsin and neutrophils/leucocytes, and sputum was analysed for biomarkers of neutrophil inflammation and remodelling activities, i.e. neutrophil elastase (NE) protein/activity and α(1) -antitrypsin. Levels of tumour necrosis factor-α (TNFα) were measured in both blood and sputum. Urine was collected 0-24 and 24-48 h postchallenge, and desmosine, a biomarker of elastin degradation, was measured. Results: Lipopolysaccharide inhalation induced dose-dependent flu-like symptoms and increases in plasma CRP and α(1) -antitrypsin as well as increases in blood neutrophil/leucocyte numbers. Furthermore, LPS produced increases in sputum TNFα and sputum NE activity. Urine levels of desmosine were unaffected by the LPS challenge. All subjects recovered 48 h postchallenge, and indices of inflammatory activity were significantly lower at this observation point cf 24 h postchallenge. Conclusion: Inhalation of LPS in healthy volunteers can be used as a safe and stable model of neutrophil inflammation. Blood/plasma and sputum indices can be employed to monitor the response to LPS. We suggest that this model may be used for initial human studies of novel COPD-active drugs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-79
JournalClinical Physiology and Functional Imaging
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Physiology


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