Indexed on: 18 Jul '02Published on: 18 Jul '02Published in: Inhalation toxicology
The goal of this study was to examine effects from repeated exposure to ozone (O3) on immune cells involved in cell-mediated antibacterial responses in the lungs. Rats exposed to 0.1 or 0.3 ppm O3 for 4 h/day, 5 days/wk, for 1 or 3 wk were analyzed for the ability to clear an intrapulmonary challenge with Listeria monocytogenes or had their lungs processed to obtain pulmonary alveolar macrophages (PAM) and lung-associated lymphocytes for analyses of select cell functions and surface marker expression. The results indicate that repeated inhalation exposure to O3 affected local cell-mediated immunity (CMI) responses as evidenced by effects on clearance of Listeria. However, this modulation was not consistently dependent on exposure concentration or duration. Short-term repeat exposures had more effect on host resistance than did the more prolonged regimen, with rats exposed to 0.1 ppm O3 most adversely impacted. Clearance patterns suggest modifications in innate resistance following 1 wk of exposure to 0.1 ppm O3, but no similar effect following a 3-wk regimen. Exposure to 0.3 ppm O3 appeared to affect both innate and acquired resistance after a 1-wk regimen, but mainly the former after an additional 2 wk of exposure. We conclude that these two mechanisms of resistance are differentially affected by O3 and that distinct time- and O3 concentration-dependent adaptation phenomena evolve for each; that is, in situ adaptation to higher levels of O3 may occur more readily with acquired than with innate/PAM-dependent resistance. A similar pattern of inconsistent effect on PAM and lung-associated lymphocytes was also evident. For example, while 3-wk exposures had a greater effect on PAM reactive oxygen intermediate ROI production, evidence for a significant effect on antibacterial activity was only notable among PAM from rats exposed for 1 wk. Among lung lymphocytes, while 3-wk exposure to 0.1 ppm O3 led to a significant increase in CD25 expression, there was no corresponding increase in responsivity to concanavalin A (ConA); only among cells from 1-wk-exposed rats did lymphoproliferative responses increase. Though investigations of altered immune cell cytokine receptor expression/binding activity are ongoing, results herein provide further evidence to support our longstanding hypothesis that some well-documented effects of O3 exposure on human health are quite likely linked to changes in local immune cell (i.e., PAM and lung-associated lymphocytes) functions, with the latter being related to changes in the capacities of these cells to interact with immunoregulatory cytokines.