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Proc Soc Exp Biol Med. 1988 Jul;188(3):259-64.

Enhancement of allergic lung sensitization in mice by ozone inhalation.

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  • 1Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Immunology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis 95616.


Inhaled ozone was found to exert an enhancing effect for allergic lung sensitization when mice contracted an aerosolized allergen. The animals were exposed to ozone concentrations of 0.24, 0.16, 0.13, and 0.10 ppm. After 4 days of continuous ozone exposure, the mice had allergen contact from an aerosolized solution of ovalbumin. The animals were then maintained in ambient air for several days before the cycle of ozone and aerosolized allergen was repeated over four allergen contact cycles. Mice were rested in ambient air for a week after the last allergen contact, and they were then tested for allergic sensitization by the intravenous injection of 2 mg of ovalbumin to induce anaphylactic shock in allergic individuals. The control groups of mice were maintained in ambient air throughout the experiment, but they experienced identical allergen contact with the ozone-exposed mice. The phenomenon of allergic enhancement from ozone inhalation was detected at 0.24, 0.16, and 0.13 ppm of ozone. The enhancing effect disappeared at 0.10 ppm of ozone. The study indicated a potential for increasing the number of allergically sensitized individuals when various allergens are inhaled during periods of high ozone exposure with the consequent adverse changes on respiratory membranes. The significance to human health of the allergic enhancement phenomenon by ozone needs investigation.

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