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Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2011 Mar;300(3):L462-71. doi: 10.1152/ajplung.00254.2010. Epub 2010 Dec 3.

Postnatal episodic ozone results in persistent attenuation of pulmonary and peripheral blood responses to LPS challenge.

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California National Primate Research Center, Univ. of California, Davis, 95616, USA.


Early life is a dynamic period of growth for the lung and immune system. We hypothesized that ambient ozone exposure during postnatal development can affect the innate immune response to other environmental challenges in a persistent fashion. To test this hypothesis, we exposed infant rhesus macaque monkeys to a regimen of 11 ozone cycles between 30 days and 6 mo of age; each cycle consisted of ozone for 5 days (0.5 parts per million at 8 h/day) followed by 9 days of filtered air. Animals were subsequently housed in filtered air conditions and challenged with a single dose of inhaled LPS at 1 yr of age. After completion of the ozone exposure regimen at 6 mo of age, total peripheral blood leukocyte and polymorphonuclear leukocyte (PMN) numbers were reduced, whereas eosinophil counts increased. In lavage, total cell numbers at 6 mo were not affected by ozone, however, there was a significant reduction in lymphocytes and increased eosinophils. Following an additional 6 mo of filtered air housing, only monocytes were increased in blood and lavage in previously exposed animals. In response to LPS challenge, animals with a prior history of ozone showed an attenuated peripheral blood and lavage PMN response compared with controls. In vitro stimulation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells with LPS resulted in reduced secretion of IL-6 and IL-8 protein in association with prior ozone exposure. Collectively, our findings suggest that ozone exposure during infancy can result in a persistent effect on both pulmonary and systemic innate immune responses later in life.

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