Experimental T-2 Toxicosis in Swine Following Inhalation Exposure: Effects on Pulmonary and Systemic Immunity, and Morphologic Changes

Victor F. Pang, Richard J. Lambert, Peter J. Felsburg, Val R. Beasley, William B. Buck, Wanda M. Haschek

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35 Scopus citations


Thirty-four, 9-to 11-week-old, male castrated, crossbred, specific pathogen-free derived pigs were exposed to a T-2 toxin aerosol at a nebulized dose of 0 or 9 mg/kg in pairs, each pair consisting of 1 control and 1 T-2 treated pig which were exposed on the same day. Twenty to 30% of the toxin (1.8 to 2.7 mg/kg) was retained by the pigs. Five pairs were killed on each of 1, 3 and 7 days after dosing. Two pairs of pigs were designated as a 0.33-day group when one T-2 treated pig died and the other was killed in a moribund state at 8 to 10 hours after dosing. The pulmonary and systemic immunity and morphologic changes of the lungs and other organs were examined. Bronchoalveolar lavage was performed to obtain alveolar macrophages (AM) and pulmonary lymphocytes (PL). The phagocytic ability of AM and mitogen-induced blastogenic responses of enriched PL and peripheral blood lymphocytes were evaluated. Clinically, all of the T-2 treated pigs vomited and were cyanotic, anorexic, lethargic and laterally recumbent. In the 0.33-, 1-, and 3-day T-2 treated pigs, there was a marked reduction in AM phagocytosis and mitogen-induced blastogenic responses of PL but not of peripheral blood lymphocytes. Mild to moderate, multifocal interstitial pneumonia was seen in the majority of the T-2 treated pigs. In pigs dying following inhalation of T-2 toxin, there was a more severe pneumonia, as well as marked necrosis of lymphoid tissues, severe necrohemorrhagic gastroenteritis and edema of the gall bladder wall, and multifocal necrosis of the heart and pancreas. Thus, inhalation exposure to T2 toxin can result in clinical signs and morphologic changes resembling those reported previously in pigs given T-2 toxin intravascularly (iv) at a dose of 1.2 mg/kg (approximate LD50) or greater, as well as death. Mild pulmonary injury as well as transient impairment of pulmonary immunity was present in pigs surviving inhalation exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)308-319
Number of pages12
JournalToxicologic Pathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 1987

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Toxicology
  • Cell Biology


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