In communities surrounding the Salton Sea, high rates of asthma are associated with high aerosol dust levels. However, the Salton Sea itself may play an additional role in pulmonary health. Therefore, to investigate a potential role of the Salton Sea on pulmonary health, we exposed mice to aerosolized Salton Sea water for 7 days and assessed tissue responses, including cellular infiltration and gene expression changes. For reference, mice were also exposed to aerosolized fungal allergen (Alternaria sp.) and Pacific Ocean aerosols. Exposure to aerosolized Alternaria sp. induced dramatic allergic inflammation, including neutrophil and eosinophil recruitment to the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and lung tissue. By contrast, Salton Sea “spray” induced only B cell recruitment to the lung tissue without increased inflammatory cell numbers in BALF. However, there were consistent gene expression changes suggestive of an inflammatory response. The response to the Salton Sea spray was notably distinct from the response to Pacific Ocean water, which induced some B cell recruitment but without an inflammatory gene expression profile. Our studies suggest that soluble components in Salton Sea water promote induction of a unique inflammation-associated response, though any relationship to asthma remains to be explored.
Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier B.V.