Fingerprint of Lung Fluid Ultrafine Particles, a Novel Marker of Acute Lung Inflammation

Amir Bar-Shai, Yifat Alcalay, Adi Sagiv, Michal Rotem, Sara W. Feigelson, Ronen Alon, Elizabeth Fireman, SW Feigelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Acute lung inflammation can be monitored by various biochemical readouts of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF). Objective: To analyze the BALF content of ultrafine particles (UFP; <100 nm) as an inflammatory biomarker in early diagnosis of acute and chronic lung diseases. Methods: Mice were exposed to different stress conditions and inflammatory insults (acute lipopolysaccharide inhalation, tobacco smoke and lethal dose of total body irradiation, i.e. 950 rad). After centrifugation, the cellular pellet was assessed while cytokines and ultrafine particles were measured in the soluble fraction of the BALF. Results: A characteristic UFP distribution with a D50 (i.e. the dimension of the 50th UFP percentile) was shared by all tested mouse strains in the BALF of resting lungs. All tested inflammatory insults similarly shifted this size distribution, resulting in a unique UFP fingerprint with an averaged D50 of 58.6 nm, compared with the mean UFP D50 of 23.7 nm for resting BALF (p < 0.0001). This UFP profile was highly reproducible and independent of the intensity or duration of the inflammatory trigger. It returned to baseline after resolution of the inflammation. Neither total body irradiation nor induction of acute cough induced this fingerprint. Conclusions: The UFP fingerprint in the BALF of resting and inflamed lungs can serve as a binary biomarker of healthy and acutely inflamed lungs. This marker can be used as a novel readout for the onset of inflammatory lung diseases and for complete lung recovery from different insults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-84
Number of pages11
Issue number1
StatePublished - 25 Jul 2015


  • Animal model
  • Biomarkers
  • Lung inflammation
  • Nanotechnology
  • Ultrafine particles

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Fingerprint of Lung Fluid Ultrafine Particles, a Novel Marker of Acute Lung Inflammation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this