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Eur Respir J. 1996 Nov;9(11):2298-305.

Ozone-induced mediator release from human bronchial epithelial cells in vitro and the influence of nedocromil sodium.

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  • 1Dept of Asthma and Allergic Respiratory Diseases, St. Bartholomew's and the Royal London School of Medicine and Dentistry, The London Chest Hospital, UK.


Although animal and human studies have demonstrated that ozone inhalation leads to airway epithelial inflammation and damage, the underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. We cultured human bronchial epithelial cells as explant cultures and investigated the effect of 6 h of exposure to 0-500 parts per billion (ppb) O3 with or without 10(-5) M nedocromil sodium on: 1) epithelial cell membrane integrity; and 2) release of inflammatory cytokines and soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM-1), as assessed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). O3 exposure led to significant epithelial cell damage at concentrations of 10-500 ppb O3, as indicated by increased release of [51Cr]-labelled sodium chromate. At concentrations of 10-100 ppb, O3 induced maximal release of interleukin-8 (IL-8), granulocyte/macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and sICAM-1. The IL-8 and GM-CSF release increased significantly from 5.64+/-0.58 and 0.04+/-0.03 pg x microg(-1) cellular protein, respectively, from control cells exposed to air, to 20.16+/-2.56 and 0.20+/-0.04 pg x microg(-1) cellular protein, respectively, from cells exposed to 50 ppb O3. 10(-5) M nedocromil sodium significantly attenuated the O3-induced release of both IL-8 and GM-CSF (p<0.01). The TNF-alpha and sICAM-1 increases after exposure to 10-50 ppb O3, were also abrogated by treatment of the cells with 10(-5) M nedocromil sodium (p<0.05). Similarly, the antioxidant, glutathione, at concentrations of 400-600 microM, significantly reduced the O3-induced release of IL-8 (p<0.05). In conclusion, these studies indicate that ambient concentrations of ozone may induce airway inflammation, through release of proinflammatory mediators from airway epithelial cells. This effect may be inhibited both by the anti-inflammatory drug, nedocromil sodium, and the naturally occurring antioxidant glutathione.

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