Formation of lamellar body-like structure may be an initiator of didecyldimethylammonium chloride-induced toxic response

Eun Jung Park, Eunsol Seong, Min Sung Kang, Gwang Hee Lee, Dong Wan Kim, Ji Seok Han, Hyun Ji Lim, Seung Hyeun Lee, Hyoung Yun Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Due to the pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019, the use of disinfectants is rapidly increasing worldwide. Didecyldimethylammonium chloride (DDAC) is an EPA-registered disinfectant, it was also a component in humidifier disinfectants that had caused idiopathic pulmonary diseases in Korea. In this study, we identified the possible pulmonary toxic response and mechanism using human bronchial epithelial (BEAS-2B) cells and mice. First, cell viability decreased sharply at a 4 μg/mL of concentration. The volume of intracellular organelles and the ROS level reduced, leading to the formation of apoptotic bodies and an increase of the LDH release. Secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α) and matrix metalloproteinase-1 also significantly increased. More importantly, lamellar body-like structures were formed in both the cells and mice exposed to DDAC, and the expression of both the indicator proteins for lamellar body (ABCA3 and Rab11a) and surfactant proteins (A, B, and D) was clearly enhanced. In addition, chronic fibrotic pulmonary lesions were notably observed in mice instilled twice (weekly) with DDAC (500 μg), ultimately resulting in death. Taken together, we suggest that disruption of pulmonary surfactant homeostasis may contribute to DDAC-induced cell death and subsequent pathophysiology and that the formation of lamellar body-like structures may play a role as the trigger. In addition, we propose that the cause of sudden death of mice exposed to DDAC should be clearly elucidated for the safe application of DDAC.

Original languageEnglish
Article number115182
JournalToxicology and Applied Pharmacology
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Oct 1


  • Didecyldimethylammonium chloride
  • Disinfectants
  • Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
  • Lamella body
  • Matrix metalloproteinase-1
  • Quaternary ammonium compounds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology


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