Self-replicating murine ex vivo cultured alveolar macrophages as a model for toxicological studies of particle-induced inflammation

Rebekah L. Kendall, Jessica L. Ray, Raymond F. Hamilton, Andrij Holian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Alveolar macrophages (AM) are integral to maintaining homeostasis within the lungs following exposure to inhaled particles. However, due to the high animal number requirements for in vitro research with primary AM, there remains a need for validated cell models that replicate alveolar macrophages in form and function to better understand the mechanisms that contribute to particle-induced inflammation and disease. A novel, easily adaptable, culture model that facilitates the continued expansion of murine alveolar macrophages for several months, termed murine ex vivo cultured AM (mexAM) has been recently described. Therefore, the present work evaluated the use of mexAMs as a suitable model for primary AM interactions with nano- and micro-sized particles. mexAM displayed a comparable profile of functional phenotype gene expression as primary AM and similar particle uptake capabilities. The NLRP3 inflammasome-driven IL-1β inflammatory response to crystalline silica and various nanoparticles was also assessed, as well as the effects of cationic amphiphilic drugs to block particle-induced inflammation. For all endpoints, mexAM showed a comparable response to primary AM. Altogether, the present work supports the use of mexAM as a validated replacement for primary AM cultures thereby reducing animal numbers and serving as an effective model for mechanistic investigation of inflammatory pathways in particle-induced respiratory disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article number116400
Pages (from-to)116400
JournalToxicology and Applied Pharmacology
StatePublished - Feb 15 2023


  • Alveolar Macrophage
  • In Vitro Model
  • Inflammation
  • Nanoparticle
  • Silica
  • Silicon Dioxide/chemistry
  • Animals
  • Macrophages, Alveolar
  • Inflammation/chemically induced
  • Lung
  • Mice


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