Environmental exposure to β-glucan is ubiquitous. A review of different cellular reactions induced by β-glucan demonstrates a complex pattern of inflammatory reactions depending upon the molecular structure, the dose, and the duration of exposure. Epidemiological data suggest that airways inflammation, atopy, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, and sarcoidosis are related to β-glucan exposure although causality cannot be ascertained. Treatment and health promotion benefits by β-glucan are less clear cut.
Keywords: Glucan, environment, allergy, dust, yeast, lung, endotoxin, LPS, environment, spores, exposure, airborne, mannan, Limulus, inhalation, airways, antibody, asthma, sarcoidosis, IL-6.