Effects on asthma and induction of interleukin-8 caused by Asian dust particles collected in western Japan

Masanari Watanabe, Jun Kurai, Katsuyuki Tomita, Hiroyuki Sano, Satoshi Abe, Rumiko Saito, Sayaka Minato, Tadashi Igishi, Naoto Burioka, Takanori Sako, Kazuhito Yasuda, Masaaki Mikami, Shinichi Kurita, Hirokazu Tokuyasu, Yasuto Ueda, Tatsuya Konishi, Akira Yamasaki, Setsuya Aiba, Mitsuo Oshimura, Eiji Shimizu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Asian dust storms (ADS) contain various airborne particles that may augment airway inflammation by increasing the level of interleukin-8. The objective of the study was to investigate the association of exposure to an ADS with worsening of symptoms of adult asthma and the effect of ADS particles on interleukin-8 transcriptional activity. Methods: The subjects were 112 patients with mild to moderate asthma who recorded scores for their daily upper and lower respiratory tract symptoms and measured morning peak expiratory flow (PEF) from March to May 2011. Interleukin-8 transcriptional activity was assessed in THP-G8 cells that were exposed to airborne particles collected during days of ADS exposure. Results: Of the 112 patients, 31 had comorbid allergic rhinitis (AR) and/or chronic sinusitis (CS), and had worsened scores for upper respiratory tract symptoms on ADS days compared to non-ADS days. Scores for lower respiratory tract symptoms during ADS days were higher than non-ADS days in all patients. Three patients also had unscheduled hospital visits for exacerbation of asthma on ADS days. However, there was no significant difference in daily morning PEF between ADS and non-ADS days. Airborne particles collected on ADS days induced interleukin-8 transcriptional activity in THP-G8 cells compared to the original soil of the ADS. Conclusion: Exposure to an ADS aggravates upper and lower tract respiratory symptoms in patients with adult asthma. ADS airborne particles may increase airway inflammation through enhancement of interleukin-8 transcriptional activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)595-602
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Asthma
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Aug


  • Asian dust storms
  • Interleukin-8
  • Luciferase assay
  • Respiratory tract
  • THP-G8 cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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