Endotoxin contamination causes neutrophilia following pulmonary allergen challenge

Loren W. Hunt, Gerald J. Gleich, Tsukasa Ohnishi, Deborah A. Weiler, Edward S. Mansfield, Hirohito Kita, Sanjiv Sur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Segmental bronchoprovocation (SBP) with allergen was used in an attempt to study eosinophils recruited to the airway 24 h after challenge. Unexpectedly, in the first four patients, neutrophils (rather than eosinophils) were recruited in the bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluids, and we hypothesized that the allergen extracts were contaminated with endotoxin. The extracts used for challenge in the first four patients tested positive for bacterial endotoxin in a limulus amebocyte lysate assay. Rechallenge of one patient from the first group with a comparable dose of an endotoxin-free extract and SBP with endotoxin-free extract in five additional patients resulted in preferential recruitment of eosinophils rather than neutrophils. The number of neutrophils recovered from the challenged segments in the patients challenged with endotoxin-free extract was significantly less than that observed in the first four patients. Taken together, these observations suggest that neutrophil recruitment in the 24-h BAL fluids from the first four patients was probably due to endotoxin contamination of the allergen extract. We caution investigators that endotoxin contamination of allergen extract may alter the cellular inflammation during the late airway response following allergen challenge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1471-1475
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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