Evaluation of the toxicity of sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS) in the MucilAir™ human airway model in vitro

Jonathan Welch, Joanne Wallace, Alison B. Lansley, Clive Roper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of the study was to use multiple in vitro assays to assess the effects of a model irritant, sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS) (≤10 mM (0.29 %, w/v)), on an in vitro model of the airway, MucilAir™. The use of MucilAir™ in recovery studies was also explored. A 24 h exposure increased IL-8 release at an SDS concentration ≥0.63 mM (0.018 %, w/v). Mucin secretion increased and transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER) decreased at SDS concentrations ≥1.25 mM (0.04 %, w/v). Cytotoxicity (lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release into basolateral chamber) was observed at SDS concentrations of ≥2.5 mM (0.07 %, w/v). The sensitivity of the assays was IL-8 release > TEER = mucin secretion > LDH release. After 7 days, full or partial recovery was observed for intermediate concentrations of SDS using all assays but not at 5 and 10 mM SDS. Morphologically, erosion and cell loss were observed at these concentrations. Resazurin metabolism at 7 days tended to decrease in a dose-dependent manner at SDS concentrations above 2.5 mM (0.07 %, w/v). Together, these data support a No Observable Effect Level of 0.31 mM (0.009 % w/v) SDS and the use of MucilAir™ as a relevant model for airway toxicity studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105022
JournalRegulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: The work described in this manuscript was funded in full by Charles River Laboratories, Inc .


  • 3D in vitro model
  • Airway epithelium
  • Inhalation toxicology
  • MucilAir™
  • Sodium dodecyl sulphate
  • Sodium lauryl sulphate
  • Up to 10): respiratory toxicology


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