Bronchial reactivity of healthy subjects: 18-20 h postexposure to ozone

W. M. Foster, R. H. Brown, K. Macri, C. S. Mitchell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Exposure of humans to ambient levels of ozone (O3) causes inflammatory changes within lung tissues. These changes have been reported for the 'initial' (1- to 3-h) and 'late' (18- to 20-h) postexposure periods. We hypothesized that at the late period, when protein and cellular markers of inflammation at the airway surface remain abnormal and the integrity of the epithelial barrier is compromised, bronchial reactivity would be increased. To test this, we measured airway responsiveness to cumulative doses of methacholine (MCh) aerosol in healthy subjects 19 ± 1 h after a single exposure to O3 (130 min at ambient levels between 120 and 240 parts/billion and alternate periods of rest and moderate exercise) or filtered air. Exposures were conducted at two temperatures: mild (22°C) and moderate (30°C). At the late period, bronchial reactivity to MCh increased, i.e., interpolated dose of MCh leading to a 50% fall in specific airway conductance (PC50) was less after O3 than after filtered air. PC50 for O3 at 22°C was 27 mg/ml (20% less than the PC50 after filtered air), and for O3 at 30°C it was 19 mg/ml (70% less than the PC50 after filtered air). The forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) at the late time point after O3 was slightly but significantly reduced (2.3%) from the preexposure level. There was no relationship found between the functional changes observed early after exposure to O3 and subsequent changes in bronchial reactivity or FEV1 at the late time point. These results suggest that bronchial reactivity is significantly altered ~ 1 day after O3; this injury may contribute to the respiratory morbidity that is observed 1-2 days after an episode of ambient air pollution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1804-1810
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Methacholine
  • Specific airway conductance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Bronchial reactivity of healthy subjects: 18-20 h postexposure to ozone'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this