Biological responses of Raw 264.7 macrophage exposed to two strains of Stachybotrys chartarum spores grown on four different wallboard types
The many benefits of building "green" have motivated the use of sustainable products in the design and execution of the built environment. However, the use of these natural or recycled materials, some of which have been treated with antimicrobials, provides a growth opportunity for microorganisms with the potential to elicit adverse health effects especially in the presence of an antimicrobial. The focus of this research was to determine the effects of Stachybotrys chartarum (strains Houston and 51-11) grown under different conditions on a macrophage cell line (Raw 264.7) using endpoints, including cytotoxicity, and those associated with immunity specifically inflammation and MHC class II expression. The fungi were grown on four different gypsum products, and macrophages were exposed to whole spores of both strains and fragmented spores of strain 51-11. Whole spores of the Houston strain elicited no cytotoxicity with some level of inflammation, while exposure to whole spores of 51-11 caused variable responses depending on the wallboard type supporting the fungal growth. High concentrations of fragmented 51-11 spores primarily resulted in the apoptosis of macrophage with no inflammation. None of the fungal strains caused elevated levels of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II expression on the surface of Raw cells. Mycotoxin levels of 51-11 spores from all of the wallboard types measured >250 ng/muL of T2 equivalent toxin based on activity. Collectively, the data demonstrated that all of the wallboard types supported growth of fungi with the ability to elicit harmful biological responses with the potential to negatively impact human health.