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J Toxicol Environ Health. 1987;21(1-2):27-43.

Acute and subchronic ozone inhalation in the rabbit: response of alveolar macrophages.


Ozone is a potent oxidant gas and a common constituent of photochemical smog. This investigation evaluated the numbers and functional capabilities of alveolar macrophages (AM) recovered from rabbits undergoing acute and subchronic ozone exposure. Bronchoalveolar lavage was performed immediately, 24 h, and 7 d after acute (2-h) exposure to 0.1 or 1.2 ppm ozone, and on d 3, 7, and 14 during subchronic (2 h/d X 13 d) exposure to 0.1 ppm ozone. After acute exposure to 1.2 ppm, a marked increase in lavaged neutrophils was observed at 24 h. A single exposure to 0.1 ppm resulted in increased AM at 7 d, while repeated exposures resulted in an increase in AM and neutrophils on d 7 and 14. AM phagocytosis was depressed immediately and 24 h after acute exposure to 0.1 ppm, and at all time points after exposure to 1.2 ppm. Repeated exposures to 0.1 ppm produced reductions in the numbers of phagocytically active AM on d 3 and 7, with a return to control levels by d 14. Substrate attachment by AM was impaired immediately after exposure to 1.2 ppm; AM mobility was not altered by any of the ozone exposures. The results of these studies demonstrated significant alterations in the numbers and functional properties of AM as a result of single or repeated exposure to 0.1 ppm ozone, a level below the current National Ambient Air Quality Standard. These findings indicate that levels of ozone frequently encountered in areas of high photochemical air pollution can elicit a pulmonary inflammatory response and can impair pulmonary defense capabilities.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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