Peter Oldenburg, Ph.D.

Assistant ProfessorPete Oldenburg

University of Nebraska Medical Center
Durham Research Center 3046
985800 Nebraska Medical Center
Omaha, NE  68198-5800

Phone:  402-559-4562
E-mail: Pete Oldenburg


Professional Summary
Representative Publications


Professional Summary

I am an active educator role in the Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Neurosciences.  My primary focus in this role is teaching pharmacology to both medical and Allied Health professional students. 

My research focus as been based on how substances such as alcohol and organic dust effect the airways. I am interested in how these substances alter bronchial responsiveness as well as inflammation in the airways.

Alcohol has been used for centuries as a treatment for airway diseases although the mechanism(s) are poorly understood. We are studying alcohol’s effects on bronchial reactivity. Although the literature supports an effect of alcohol on the airways, it is unclear how alcohol modifies the asthmatic phenotype. Our recent studies demonstrate that alcohol exposure blocks methacholine-induced increases in airway responsiveness in a murine model. We have demonstrated for the first time that alcohol attenuates methacholine induced bronchoconstriction in mice and this may play an important role in the modulation of the asthmatic phenotype. To further explore the asthmatic phenotype, my laboratory has also demonstrated that alcohol exposure in allergen sensitized mice not only protects from increased airway hyperresponsiveness but it also significantly diminishes the degree of inflammation that is observed in the airways. Further studies utilizing isolated primary airway smooth muscle cells and precision cut lung slices (PCLS) will help identify the target(s) of alcohol in the lungs.

Organic dust exposure is an important occupational hazard for people who work in swine confinement barns. Naïve people, after exposure, have a robust systemic and pulmonary inflammatory response, which attenuates over time, and suggests that immunologic adaption is occurring. However, despite evidence for adaptation to organic dust exposure, some workers develop chronic lung disease suggesting that repeat exposure to organic dust modifies the immune system response. There have not been many studies that characterize the response to repeat dust exposures and by utilizing a newly developed murine model, we have demonstrated that mice adapt to repeated swine facility organic dust exposure and manifest evidence of lung tissue inflammation.


Representative Publications 

Robert Townley, Swati Agrawal, Peter Oldenburg, Chang Bryston, Annie Townley, Ellen Townley. Role of check-point inhibitors in immunoregulation, and airway inflammation in respiratory diseases, infection and cancer. Expert Review of Clinical Immunology. 2015. 

Poole JA, Romberger DJ, Bauer C, Gleason AM, Sisson JH, Oldenburg PJ, West WW, Wyatt TA. Protein Kinase C epsilon is Important in Modulating Organic-dust-Induced Airway Inflammation. Exp Lung Res 2012 Aug 16, in press. PMID 22897707. 

Oldenburg PJ, Poole JA, and Sisson JH. Alcohol reduces airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) and allergic airway inflammation in mice. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2012 Feb;302(3):L308-15. PMID 22114149.

Poole JA, Wyatt TA, Kielian T, Oldenburg P, Gleason AM, Bauer A, Golden G, West WW, Sisson JH, Romberger DJ. Toll-like receptor 2 Regulates Organic Dust-Induced Airway Inflammation. Am J Respir Lung Cell Mol Biol. 2011 Oct;45(4):711-9. Epub 2011 Jan 28. PMID 21278324.

Oldenburg PJ, Wyatt TA, and Sisson JH.  Ethanol attenuates contraction of primary cultured rat airway smooth muscle cells. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2010 Nov; 43(5): 539-45. PMID: 19933378