Ozone exposure in humans: Inflammatory, small and peripheral airway responses

Gail G. Weinmann, Mark C. Liu, David Proud, Margaret Weidenbach-Gerbase, Walter Hubbard, Robert Frank

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


We exposed eight normal adults to filtered air (FA) and 0.35 ppm ozone (O3) and compared responses in spirometry, including isovolume (isoV) flows at intermediate-to-low lung volumes, against levels of inflammatory markers in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and peripheral lung resistance (Rp) measured through a wedged bronchoscope. Spirometry was performed at the end, 25 min and 24 h after exposure, bronchoscopy at 24 h after exposure. The percentages of neutrophils, fibrinogen, albumin, PGE2, PGF(2α), and kinins were elevated in BALF after O3 compared with FA. The percentage reduction in (isoV) FEF25-75 at 25 min and 24 h after administration of O3 correlated closely with the rise in fibrinogen concentrations in BALF, a marker of altered vascular permeability. Rp, a measurement dominated by very small or peripheral airways, was unaffected in 7 of 8 subjects. The absence of change in Rp might have reflected insufficient penetration of O3 into these airways to produce or sustain an effect for 24 h; alternatively, the bronchoscopic procedure which included atropine and lidocaine pretreatment may have reversed an O3 effect. An unexpected finding was the significant association between baseline Rp (after FA) and the magnitude of the spirometric response to O3. Our results suggest that small airway dysfunction in the immediate post-O3 period is a marker of lung inflammation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1175-1182
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of respiratory and critical care medicine
Issue number4 I
StatePublished - Oct 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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