The importance of reporting house dust mite endotoxin abundance: Impact on the lung transcriptome

Canadian Respiratory Research Network

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4 Citations (Scopus)


The abundance of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in house dust mite (HDM) preparations is broad and mirrors the variability seen in the homes of people with asthma. LPS in commercially available stocks ranges from 31 to 5,2000 endotoxin units. The influence of vastly different LPS loads on the mechanisms that define the immune and inflammatory phenotype of HDM-challenged mice has not been defined. This aim of the study was to understand the lung phenotype of mice challenged with HDM extract containing high or low levels of LPS. Female BALB/c mice were sensitized for 2 wk with commercial HDM extract containing either high (36,000 endotoxin units; HHDM) or low (615 endotoxin units; LHDM) levels of LPS. Lung phenotype was characterized by measuring lung function, total and differential cell counts, cytokine abundance, and the lung transcriptome by RNA-sequencing. LPS levels in HDM stocks used for preclinical asthma research in mice remain poorly reported. In 2019, only 14% of papers specified LPS concentration in HDM lots. Specific differences existed in airway responsiveness between mice challenged with HHDM or LHDM. HHDM- and LHDM-induced cytokine profiles of bronchial lavage were significantly different and the lung transcriptome was differentially enriched for genes involved in DNA damage repair or cilium movement, following HHDM or LHDM challenge, respectively. The abundance of LPS in commercially available HDM influences the phenotype of allergic airways inflammation in mice. Failure to report the level of LPS in HDM extracts used in animal models of airway disease will lead to inconsistency in reproducibility and reliability of published data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L1229-L1236
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Jun 2020


  • Asthma
  • Endotoxin
  • House dust mite
  • Lipopolysaccharide
  • Lung
  • RNA-seq

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology

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