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Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2005 Jan;288(1):L61-7. Epub 2004 Sep 10.

CXCR2 is essential for maximal neutrophil recruitment and methacholine responsiveness after ozone exposure.

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Physiology Program, Dept. of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115-6021, USA.


Ozone (O(3)), a common air pollutant, induces airway inflammation and airway hyperresponsiveness. In mice, the neutrophil chemokines KC and macrophage inflammatory protein-2 (MIP-2) are expressed in the lungs following O(3) exposure. The purpose of this study was to determine whether CXCR2, the receptor for these chemokines, is essential to O(3)-induced neutrophil recruitment, injury to lungs, and increases in respiratory system responsiveness to methacholine (MCh). O(3) exposure (1 ppm for 3 h) increased the number of neutrophils in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) of wild-type (BALB/c) and CXCR2-deficient mice. However, CXCR2-deficient mice had significantly fewer emigrated neutrophils than did wild-type mice. The numbers of neutrophils in the blood and concentrations of BALF KC and MIP-2 did not differ between genotypes. Together, these data suggest CXCR2 is essential for maximal chemokine-directed migration of neutrophils to the air spaces. In wild-type mice, O(3) exposure increased BALF epithelial cell numbers and total protein levels, two indirect measures of lung injury. In contrast, in CXCR2-deficient mice, the number of BALF epithelial cells was not increased by O(3) exposure. Responses to inhaled MCh were measured by whole body plethysmography using enhanced pause as the outcome indicator. O(3) exposure increased responses to inhaled MCh in both wild-type and CXCR2-deficient mice 3 h after O(3) exposure. However, at 24 h after exposure, responses to inhaled MCh were elevated in wild-type but not CXCR2-deficient mice. These results indicate CXCR2 is essential for maximal neutrophil recruitment, epithelial cell sloughing, and persistent increases in MCh responsiveness after an acute O(3) exposure.

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