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Clin Exp Allergy. 2002 Mar;32(3):391-6.

Effect of ozone exposure on allergic sensitization and airway inflammation induced by dendritic cells.

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Department of Respiratory Diseases, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium.



Epidemiological studies suggest that ozone exposure is related to increased asthma symptoms. Dendritic cells (DCs) are the principal antigen-presenting cells in the airways.


We have examined whether ambient doses of ozone (100 ppb for 2 h) enhance allergic sensitization and/or airway inflammation in a mouse model.


C57BL/6 mice were sensitized to inhaled ovalbumin (OVA) by intratracheal instillation of OVA-pulsed DCs on day 0. Daily exposure to OVA aerosol on days 14-20 resulted in an eosinophilic airway inflammation, as reflected in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and lung histology. In a first experiment, mice were exposed to ozone or room air immediately prior to and following sensitization. Subsequently, we tested the effect of ozone exposure during antigen challenge in DC-sensitized mice.


Exposure to ozone during sensitization did not influence airway inflammation after subsequent allergen challenge. In contrast, in sensitized mice, challenge with OVA together with ozone (days 14-20) resulted in enhanced airway eosinophilia and lymphocytosis, as compared with mice exposed to OVA and room air (1.91 x 106 +/- 0.46 x 106 vs. 0.16 x 106 +/- 0.06 x 106 eosinophils/mL lavage fluid; P = 0.015; 0.49 x 106 +/- 0.11 x 106 vs. 0.08 x 106 +/- 0.03 x 106 lymphocytes/mL lavage fluid; P = 0.004). Ozone exposure without subsequent OVA exposure did not cause airway inflammation.


Ozone exposure does not increase allergic sensitization but enhances antigen-induced airway inflammation in mice that are sensitized via the airways.

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