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Arch Biochem Biophys. 2004 Mar 1;423(1):200-12.

An in vitro and in vivo investigation of the effects of diesel exhaust on human airway lining fluid antioxidants.

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Lung Biology, School of Health and Life Sciences, King's College, London, UK.


Breathing high concentrations of diesel exhaust (DE) induces pulmonary inflammation, bronchoconstriction, increased airway reactivity, and oxidative stress in healthy subjects. To examine if these responses occur at environmentally relevant concentrations of DE, we exposed 25 healthy subjects to DE (PM(10) 100 microg/m(3), 0.6 ppm NO(2) for 2-h) and filtered air on separate occasions. Immediately following DE exposure, subjects displayed an increase in subjective symptoms and a mild bronchoconstriction. Six hours following the cessation of DE exposure neither airway inflammation, nor antioxidant depletion (ascorbate, urate, and reduced glutathione), was seen at any level of the respiratory tract. Instead, an increased flux of reduced glutathione into the bronchial (p < 0.01) and nasal airways (p < 0.05) was observed. In separate, in vitro experiments, DE was found to have comparable oxidative activity to the transition metal rich residual oil fly ash (ROFA) particle, significantly depleting lung lining fluid ascorbic acid and reduced glutathione in a transition metal and superoxide-dependent mechanism. Together, these data indicate that even though DE has marked oxidative activity, this effect is not observed to any great extent in the airways of healthy subjects. We interpret these findings as being indicative that the antioxidant network at the air-lung interface in healthy subjects is capable of dealing with the oxidative challenge posed by DE at ambient concentrations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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