Rationale: Ozone is a common environmental air pollutant that contributes to hospitalizations for respiratory illness. The mechanisms, which regulate ozone-induced airway hyperresponsiveness, remain poorly understood. We have previously reported that toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4)–deficient animals are protected against ozone-induced airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) and that hyaluronan (HA) mediates ozone-induced AHR. However, the relation between TLR4 and hyaluronan in the airway response to ozone remains unexplored.
Objectives: We hypothesized that HA acts as an endogenous TLR4 ligand for the development of AHR after ozone-induced environmental airway injury.
Methods: TLR4-deficient and wild-type C57BL/6 mice were exposed to either inhaled ozone or intratracheal HA and the inflammatory and AHR response was measured.
Measurements and Main Results: TLR4-deficient mice have similar levels of cellular inflammation, lung injury, and soluble HA levels as those of C57BL/6 mice after inhaled ozone exposure. However, TLR4-deficient mice are partially protected from AHR after ozone exposure as well as after direct intratracheal instillation of endotoxin-free low molecular weight HA. Similar patterns of TLR4-dependent cytokines were observed in the bronchial alveolar lavage fluid after exposure to either ozone or HA. Exposure to ozone increased immunohistological staining of TLR4 on lung macrophages. Furthermore, in vitro HA exposure of bone marrow–derived macrophages induced NF-κB and production of a similar pattern of proinflammatory cytokines in a manner dependent on TLR4.
Conclusions: Our observations support the observation that extracellular matrix HA contributes to ozone-induced airways disease. Furthermore, our results support that TLR4 contributes to the biological response to HA by mediating both the production of proinflammatory cytokines and the development of ozone-induced AHR.
environmental airways injury; asthma; toll-like receptor; macrophage; TNF-α
Short-term exposure to high concentrations of ozone has been shown to increase airway hyper-responsiveness (AHR). Because the changes in AHR and airway inflammation and structure after chronic ozone exposure need to be determined, the goal of this study was to investigate these effects in a murine model of allergic airway disease.
We exposed BALB/c mice to 2 ppm ozone for 4, 8, and 12 weeks. We measured the enhanced pause (Penh) to methacholine and performed cell differentials in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. We quantified the levels of IL-4 and IFN-γ in the supernatants of the bronchoalveolar lavage fluids using enzyme immunoassays, and examined the airway architecture under light and electron microscopy.
The groups exposed to ozone for 4, 8, and 12 weeks demonstrated decreased Penh at methacholine concentrations of 12.5, 25, and 50 mg/ml, with a dose-response curve to the right of that for the filtered-air group. Neutrophils and eosinophils increased in the group exposed to ozone for 4 weeks compared to those in the filtered-air group. The ratio of IL-4 to INF-γ increased significantly after exposure to ozone for 8 and 12 weeks compared to the ratio for the filtered-air group. The numbers of goblet cells, myofibroblasts, and smooth muscle cells showed time-dependent increases in lung tissue sections from the groups exposed to ozone for 4, 8, and 12 weeks.
These findings demonstrate that the increase in AHR associated with the allergic airway does not persist during chronic ozone exposure, indicating that airway remodeling and adaptation following repeated exposure to air pollutants can provide protection against AHR.
Exposure to ozone, which is a major component of air pollution, induces a form of asthma that occurs in the absence of adaptive immunity. Although ozone-induced asthma is characterized by airway neutrophilia, and not eosinophilia, it is nevertheless associated with airway hyperreactivity (AHR), which is a cardinal feature of asthma. Because AHR induced by allergens requires the presence of natural killer T (NKT) cells, we asked whether ozone-induced AHR had similar requirements. We found that repeated exposure of wild-type (WT) mice to ozone induced severe AHR associated with an increase in airway NKT cells, neutrophils, and macrophages. Surprisingly, NKT cell–deficient (CD1d−/− and Jα18−/−) mice failed to develop ozone-induced AHR. Further, treatment of WT mice with an anti-CD1d mAb blocked NKT cell activation and prevented ozone-induced AHR. Moreover, ozone-induced, but not allergen-induced, AHR was associated with NKT cells producing interleukin (IL)-17, and failed to occur in IL-17−/− mice nor in WT mice treated with anti–IL-17 mAb. Thus, ozone exposure induces AHR that requires the presence of NKT cells and IL-17 production. Because NKT cells are required for the development of two very disparate forms of AHR (ozone- and allergen-induced), our results strongly suggest that NKT cells mediate a unifying pathogenic mechanism for several distinct forms of asthma, and represent a unique target for effective asthma therapy.
Ozone exposure is associated with exacerbation of reactive airways disease. We have previously reported that the damage-associated molecular pattern, hyaluronan, is required for the complete biological response to ambient ozone and that hyaluronan fragments signal through toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4). In this study, we further investigated the role of TLR4 adaptors in ozone–induced airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) and the direct response to hyaluronan fragments (HA). Using a murine model of AHR, C57BL/6J, TLR4−/−, MyD88−/−, and TIRAP−/− mice were characterized for AHR after exposure to either ozone (1 ppm×3 h) or HA fragments. Animals were characterized for AHR with methacholine challenge, cellular inflammation, lung injury, and production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Ozone-exposed C57BL/6J mice developed cellular inflammation, lung injury, pro-inflammatory cytokines, and AHR, while mice deficient in TLR4, MyD88 or TIRAP demonstrated both reduced AHR and reduced levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines including TNFα, IL-1β, MCP-1, IL-6 and KC. The level of hyaluronan was increased after inhalation of ozone in each strain of mice. Direct challenge of mice to hyaluronan resulted in AHR in C57BL/6J mice, but not in TLR4−/−, MyD88−/−, or TIRAP−/− mice. HA-induced cytokine production in wild-type mice was significantly reduced in TLR4−/−, MyD88−/−, or TIRAP−/− mice. In conclusion, our findings support that ozone-induced airway hyperresponsiveness is dependent on the HA-TLR4-MyD88-TIRAP signaling pathway.
Exposure to ozone induces airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) mediated partly by SP released from nerve terminals of intrinsic airway neurons. Our recent studies showed that IL-1, an important multifunctional proinflammatory cytokine, increases synthesis and release of SP from intrinsic airway neurons. The purpose of this study is to investigate the possible involvement of endogenous IL-1 in modulating neural responses associated with ozone-enhanced airway responsiveness. Ferrets were exposed to 2 ppm ozone or filtered air for 3 hrs. IL-1 in the bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid was significantly increased in ozone-exposed animals and responses of tracheal smooth muscle to methacholine (MCh) and electrical field stimulation (EFS) were elevated significantly. Both the SP nerve fiber density in tracheal smooth muscle and the number of SP-containing neurons in airway ganglia were significantly increased following ozone exposure. Pretreatment with IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1 Ra) significantly diminished ozone-enhanced airway responses to EFS as well as ozone-increased SP in the airway. To selectively investigate intrinsic airway neurons, segments of ferret trachea were maintained in culture conditions for 24 hrs to eliminate extrinsic contributions from sensory nerves. The segments were then exposed to 2 ppm ozone in vitro for 3 hrs. The changes of ozone-induced airway responses to MCh and EFS, and the SP levels in airway neurons paralleled those observed with in vivo ozone exposure. The ozone-enhanced airway responses and neuronal SP levels were inhibited by pretreatment with IL-1 Ra. These findings show that IL-1 is released during ozone exposure enhances airway responsiveness by modulating SP expression in airway neurons.
airway smooth muscle contraction; muscarinic agonists; neurokinin receptor; airway innervation
Air pollutant exposure is linked with childhood asthma incidence and exacerbations, and maternal exposure to airborne pollutants during pregnancy increases airway hyperreactivity (AHR) in offspring. To determine if exposure to diesel exhaust (DE) during pregnancy worsened postnatal ozone-induced AHR, timed pregnant C57BL/6 mice were exposed to DE (0.5 or 2.0 mg/m3) 4 hours daily from Gestation Day 9–17, or received twice-weekly oropharyngeal aspirations of the collected DE particles (DEPs). Placentas and fetal lungs were harvested on Gestation Day 18 for cytokine analysis. In other litters, pups born to dams exposed to air or DE, or to dams treated with aspirated diesel particles, were exposed to filtered air or 1 ppm ozone beginning the day after birth, for 3 hours per day, 3 days per week for 4 weeks. Additional pups were monitored after a 4-week recovery period. Diesel inhalation or aspiration during pregnancy increased levels of placental and fetal lung cytokines. There were no significant effects on airway leukocytes, but prenatal diesel augmented ozone-induced elevations of bronchoalveolar lavage cytokines at 4 weeks. Mice born to the high-concentration diesel–exposed dams had worse ozone-induced AHR, which persisted in the 4-week recovery animals. Prenatal diesel exposure combined with postnatal ozone exposure also worsened secondary alveolar crest development. We conclude that maternal inhalation of DE in pregnancy provokes a fetal inflammatory response that, combined with postnatal ozone exposure, impairs alveolar development, and causes a more severe and long-lasting AHR to ozone exposure.
diesel; fetal inflammation; ozone; airway hyperreactivity
γδ T cells regulate airway reactivity, but their role in ozone (O3)-induced airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) is not known. Our objective was to determine the role of γδ T cells in O3-induced AHR. Different strains of mice, including those that were genetically manipulated or antibody-depleted to render them deficient in total γδ T cells or specific subsets of γδ T cells, were exposed to 2.0 ppm of O3 for 3 hours. Airway reactivity to inhaled methacholine, airway inflammation, and epithelial cell damage were monitored. Exposure of C57BL/6 mice to O3 resulted in a transient increase in airway reactivity, neutrophilia, and increased numbers of epithelial cells in the lavage fluid. TCR-δ−/− mice did not develop AHR, although they exhibited an increase in neutrophils and epithelial cells in the lavage fluid. Similarly, depletion of γδ T cells in wild-type mice suppressed O3-induced AHR without influencing airway inflammation or epithelial damage. Depletion of Vγ1+, but not of Vγ4+ T cells, reduced O3-induced AHR, and transfer of total γδ T cells or Vγ1+ T cells to TCR-δ−/− mice restored AHR. After transfer of Vγ1+ cells to TCR-δ−/− mice, restoration of AHR after O3 exposure was blocked by anti–TNF-α. However, AHR could be restored in TCR-δ−/−mice by transfer of γδ T cells from TNF-α–deficient mice, indicating that another cell type was the source of TNF-α. These results demonstrate that TNF-α and activation of Vγ1+ γδ T cells are required for the development of AHR after O3 exposure.
ozone; airway responsiveness; γδ T cells; TNF-α
IL-17A induces the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines and of reactive oxygen species which could lead to neutrophilic inflammation. We determined the role of IL-17 receptor (IL-17R) signalling in oxidant-induced lung emphysema and airway hyperresponsiveness. IL-17R−/− and wild-type C57/BL6 mice were exposed to ozone (3 ppm; 3 hours) for 12 times over 6 weeks. Bronchial responsiveness to acetylcholine was measured, and lungs were retrieved. Mean linear intercept (Lm) and isometric contractile responses of intrapulmonary airways to acetylcholine were determined. In wild-type mice but not in IL-17R−/−, chronic ozone exposure caused airway hyperresponsiveness. The increase in Lm after chronic ozone exposure of wild-type mice was also observed in IL-17R−/− mice. The increased maximal contractile response to acetylcholine seen in airways of wild-type mice exposed to ozone was abolished in IL-17R−/− mice. p38-mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and dexamethasone-dependent increase in contractile response was reduced in airways from IL-17R−/− ozone-exposed mice. Lung inflammation scores were not altered in IL-17R−/− mice exposed to ozone compared to wild-type mice. The increased release of IL-17 and IL-1β, and the activation of p38 MAPK in the lungs of ozone-exposed mice was reduced in IL-17R−/− mice. IL-17R signalling underlies the increase in airway hyperresponsiveness seen after ozone exposure, mediated by the increased contractility of airway smooth muscle. The emphysema and lung inflammation induced by ozone is not dependent on IL-17.
Exposure to ozone causes airway inflammation, hyperreactivity, lung hyper-permeability, and epithelial cell injury. An early inflammatory response induced by inhaled O3 is characterized primarily by release of inflammatory mediators such as cytokines, chemokines, and airway neutrophil accumulation. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) have been implicated in the pathogenesis of oxidative lung disorders including acute lung injury, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
We hypothesized that MMPs have an important role in the pathogenesis of O3-induced airway inflammation.
We compared the lung injury responses in either Mmp7- (Mmp7−/−) or Mmp9-deficient (Mmp9−/−) mice and their wild-type controls (Mmp7+/+, Mmp9+/+) after exposure to 0.3 ppm O3 or filtered air.
Relative to air-exposed controls, MMP-9 activity in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) was significantly increased by O3 exposure in Mmp9+/+ mice. O3-induced increases in the concentration of total protein (a marker of lung permeability) and the numbers of neutrophils and epithelial cells in BALF were significantly greater in Mmp9−/− mice compared with Mmp9+/+ mice. Keratinocyte-derived chemokine (KC) and macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-2 levels in BALF were also significantly higher in Mmp9−/− mice than in Mmp9+/+ mice after O3 exposure, although no differences in mRNA expression for these chemokines were found between genotypes. Mean BALF protein concentration and numbers of inflammatory cells were not significantly different between Mmp7+/+ and Mmp7−/− mice after O3 exposure.
Results demonstrated a protective role of MMP-9 but not of MMP-7, in O3-induced lung neutrophilic inflammation and hyperpermeability. The mechanism through which Mmp9 limits O3-induced airway injury is not known but may be via posttranscriptional effects on proinflammatory CXC chemokines including KC and MIP-2.
chemokine; knockout mice; lung; MMP-9; O3; oxidant
Background: Our previous work demonstrated that the extracellular matrix protein mindin contributes to allergic airways disease. However, the role of mindin in nonallergic airways disease has not previously been explored.
Objectives: We hypothesized that mindin would contribute to airways disease after inhalation of either lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or ozone.
Methods: We exposed C57BL/6J and mindin-deficient (–/–) mice to aerosolized LPS (0.9 μg/m3 for 2.5 hr), saline, ozone (1 ppm for 3 hr), or filtered air (FA). All mice were evaluated 4 hr after LPS/saline
exposure or 24 hr after ozone/FA exposure. We characterized the physiological and biological responses by analysis of airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) with a computer-controlled small-animal ventilator (FlexiVent), inflammatory cellular recruitment, total protein in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF), proinflammatory cytokine profiling, and ex vivo bronchial ring studies.
Results: After inhalation of LPS, mindin–/– mice demonstrated significantly reduced total cell and neutrophil recruitment into the airspace compared with their wild-type counterparts. Mindin–/– mice also exhibited reduced proinflammatory cytokine production and lower AHR to methacholine challenge by FlexiVent. After inhalation of ozone, mice had no detectible differences in cellular inflammation or total BALF protein dependent on mindin. However, mindin–/– mice were protected from increased proinflammatory cytokine production and AHR compared with their C57BL/6J counterparts. After ozone exposure, bronchial rings derived from mindin–/– mice demonstrated reduced constriction in response to carbachol.
Conclusions: These data demonstrate that the extracellular matrix protein mindin modifies the airway response to both LPS and ozone. Our data support a conserved role of mindin in production of proinflammatory cytokines and the development of AHR in two divergent models of reactive airways disease, as well as a role of mindin in airway smooth muscle contractility after exposure to ozone.
airway smooth muscle; endotoxin; innate immunity; lipopolysaccharide; LPS; lung; mindin; ozone; Tlr4; toll-like receptor
Ozone exposure in the lab and environment causes airway hyperreactivity lasting at least 3 days in humans and animals. In guinea pigs 1 day after ozone exposure, airway hyperreactivity is mediated by eosinophils that block neuronal M2 muscarinic receptor function, thus increasing acetylcholine release from airway parasympathetic nerves. However, mechanisms of ozone-induced airway hyperreactivity change over time, so that depleting eosinophils 3 days after ozone makes airway hyperreactivity worse rather than better. Ozone exposure increases IL-1β in bone marrow, which may contribute to acute and chronic airway hyperreactivity. To test whether IL-1β mediates ozone-induced airway hyperreactivity 1 and 3 days after ozone exposure, guinea pigs were pretreated with an IL-1 receptor antagonist (anakinra, 30 mg/kg, intraperitoneally) 30 minutes before exposure to filtered air or to ozone (2 ppm, 4 h). One or three days after exposure, airway reactivity was measured in anesthetized guinea pigs. The IL-1 receptor antagonist prevented ozone-induced airway hyperreactivity 3 days, but not 1 day, after ozone exposure. Ozone-induced airway hyperreactivity was vagally mediated, since bronchoconstriction induced by intravenous acetylcholine was not changed by ozone. The IL-1 receptor antagonist selectively prevented ozone-induced reduction of eosinophils around nerves and prevented ozone-induced deposition of extracellular eosinophil major basic protein in airways. These data demonstrate that IL-1 mediates ozone-induced airway hyperreactivity at 3 days, but not 1 day, after ozone exposure. Furthermore, preventing hyperreactivity was accompanied by decreased eosinophil major basic protein deposition within the lung, suggesting that IL-1 affects eosinophil activation 3 days after ozone exposure.
asthma; eosinophils; cytokines; parasympathetic nerves; lungs
We determined the role of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) in the increased airway smooth muscle (ASM) contractile responses following ozone and modulation by corticosteroids.
Mice were exposed to air or ozone (3 ppm for 3 h) and isometric contractile responses of bronchial rings to acetylcholine (ACh) were measured using a myograph in the presence of p38 MAPK inhibitor, SB239063 (10−6 M) or dexamethasone (10−6 M). Because MAPK phosphatase (MKP)-1 is a negative regulator of p38 MAPK, we also studied these effects in MKP-1-/- mice.
Bronchial rings from ozone-exposed wild-type and MKP-1-/- mice showed increased contractile responses, with a leftward shift of the dose–response curve in MKP-1-/- mice. SB239063 inhibited bronchial contraction equally in air- and ozone-exposed C57/BL6 and MKP-1-/- mice. Dexamethasone inhibited ACh-induced bronchial contraction in both air- and ozone-exposed C57/BL6 mice, but not in air- or ozone-exposed MKP-1-/- mice. ACh-stimulated p38 MAPK and heat shock protein (HSP)27 phosphorylation, as measured by Western blotting, and this effect was suppressed by SB239063 in C57/BL6 and MKP-1-/- mice, but not by dexamethasone in either air- or ozone-exposed MKP-1-/- mice.
p38 MAPK plays a role in maximal ACh-induced isometric contractile responses and increased contractility induced by ozone. Dexamethasone inhibits ACh-induced ASM contraction through phosphorylation of p38 MAPK and HSP27.
Acetylcholine; airway smooth muscle; dexamethasone; heat shock protein 27; p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase; mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphatase-1
Intracellular dynamics of airway smooth muscle cells (ASMC) mediate ASMC contraction and proliferation, and thus play a key role in airway hyper-responsiveness (AHR) and remodelling in asthma. We evaluate the importance of store-operated entry (SOCE) in these dynamics by constructing a mathematical model of ASMC signaling based on experimental data from lung slices. The model confirms that SOCE is elicited upon sufficient depletion of the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR), while receptor-operated entry (ROCE) is inhibited in such conditions. It also shows that SOCE can sustain agonist-induced oscillations in the absence of other influx. SOCE up-regulation may thus contribute to AHR by increasing the oscillation frequency that in turn regulates ASMC contraction. The model also provides an explanation for the failure of the SERCA pump blocker CPA to clamp the cytosolic of ASMC in lung slices, by showing that CPA is unable to maintain the SR empty of . This prediction is confirmed by experimental data from mouse lung slices, and strongly suggests that CPA only partially inhibits SERCA in ASMC.
Background: The role of the Nlrp3 inflammasome in nonallergic airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) has not previously been reported. Recent evidence supports both interleukin (IL) 1β and short fragments of hyaluronan (HA) as contributors to the biological response to inhaled ozone.
Objective: Because extracellular secretion of IL-1β requires activation of the inflammasome, we investigated the role of the inflammasome proteins ASC, caspase1, and Nlrp3 in the biological response to ozone and HA.
Methods: C57BL/6J wild-type mice and mice deficient in ASC, caspase1, or Nlrp3 were exposed to ozone (1 ppm for 3 hr) or HA followed by analysis of airway resistance, cellular inflammation, and total protein and cytokines in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF). Transcription levels of IL-1β and IL-18 were determined in two populations of lung macrophages. In addition, we examined levels of cleaved caspase1 and cleaved IL-1β as markers of inflammasome activation in isolated alveolar macrophages harvested from BALF from HA-treated mice.
Results: We observed that genes of the Nlrp3 inflammasome were required for development of AHR following exposure to either ozone or HA fragments. These genes are partially required for the cellular inflammatory response to ozone. The expression of IL-1β mRNA in alveolar macrophages was up-regulated after either ozone or HA challenge and was not dependent on the Nlrp3 inflammasome. However, soluble levels of IL-1β protein were dependent on the inflammasome after challenge with either ozone or HA. HA challenge resulted in cleavage of macrophage-derived caspase1 and IL-1β, suggesting a role for alveolar macrophages in Nlrp3-dependent AHR.
Conclusions: The Nlrp3 inflammasome is required for the development of ozone-induced reactive airways disease.
asthma; environment; extracellular matrix; innate immunity; ozone; toll-like receptor
Background: Acute ozone (O3) exposure results in greater inflammation and airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) in obese versus lean mice.
Objectives: We examined the hypothesis that these augmented responses to O3 are the result of greater signaling through tumor necrosis factor receptor 2 (TNFR2) and/or interleukin (IL)-13.
Methods: We exposed lean wild-type (WT) and TNFR2-deficient (TNFR2–/–) mice, and obese Cpefat and TNFR2-deficient Cpefat mice (Cpefat/TNFR2–/–), to O3 (2 ppm for 3 hr) either with or without treatment with anti–IL-13 or left them unexposed.
Results: O3-induced increases in baseline pulmonary mechanics, airway responsiveness, and cellular inflammation were greater in Cpefat than in WT mice. In lean mice, TNFR2 deficiency ablated O3-induced AHR without affecting pulmonary inflammation; whereas in obese mice, TNFR2 deficiency augmented O3-induced AHR but reduced inflammatory cell recruitment. O3 increased pulmonary expression of IL-13 in Cpefat but not WT mice. Flow cytometry analysis of lung cells indicated greater IL-13–expressing CD4+ cells in Cpefat versus WT mice after O3 exposure. In Cpefat mice, anti–IL-13 treatment attenuated O3-induced increases in pulmonary mechanics and inflammatory cell recruitment, but did not affect AHR. These effects of anti–IL-13 treatment were not observed in Cpefat/TNFR2–/– mice. There was no effect of anti–IL-13 treatment in WT mice.
Conclusions: Pulmonary responses to O3 are not just greater, but qualitatively different, in obese versus lean mice. In particular, in obese mice, O3 induces IL-13 and IL-13 synergizes with TNF via TNFR2 to exacerbate O3-induced changes in pulmonary mechanics and inflammatory cell recruitment but not AHR.
airway responsiveness; bronchoalveolar lavage; IL-5; inflammation; MIP-3α
Rationale: Epidemiologic studies implicate air pollutant exposure during pregnancy as a risk factor for wheezing in offspring. Ozone exposure is linked to exacerbations of wheezing in children.
Objectives: To determine if maternal pulmonary exposure to traffic-related particles during pregnancy augments ozone–induced airway hyperresponsiveness in offspring.
Methods: C57BL6 time-mated mice were given NIST SRM#1648 (particulate matter [PM]) 0.48 mg, saline vehicle, or no treatment by tracheal insufflation twice weekly for 3 weeks. PM exposure augmented maternal lung inflammation and placental TNF-α, Keratinocyte-derived cytokine (KC), and IL-6 (measured at gestation Day 18). After parturition, dams and litters were exposed to air or ozone 1 ppm 3 h/d, every other day, thrice weekly for 4 weeks. Respiratory system resistance in pups was measured at baseline and after administration of nebulized methacholine.
Measurements and Main Results: Ozone increased airway hyperresponsiveness, but the increase was greatest in pups born to PM-treated dams. Whole-lung TNF-α, IL-1β, KC, IL-6, and MCP-1 were increased in ozone–treated pups, with the greatest increase in pups born to dams given PM. Airway epithelial mucous metaplasia estimated by periodic acid-Schiff Alcian blue staining was increased in ozone–exposed pups born to PM-treated dams. Alveolar development, determined by morphometry, and airway smooth muscle bulk, estimated using α-actin histochemistry, were unaffected by prenatal or postnatal treatment.
Conclusions: Maternal pulmonary exposure to PM during pregnancy augments placental cytokine expression and postnatal ozone–induced pulmonary inflammatory cytokine responses and ozone–induced airway hyperresponsiveness without altering airway structure.
The control and mechanisms of airway smooth muscle cell (SMC) contraction were investigated with a sequential series of lung slices from different generations of the same airway from the cardiac lobe of the mouse lung. Airway contraction was measured by monitoring the changes in airway lumen area with phase-contrast microscopy. Changes in intracellular calcium concentration of the SMCs were studied with a custom-built confocal or two-photon microscope. The distribution of the airway SMCs and the muscarinic M3 or 5-HT2A receptors was determined with immunofluorescence. Methacholine and 5-HT induced a concentration-dependent airway contraction and Ca2+ oscillations within the SMCs of each airway generation. The airway contraction in response to the same agonist concentration was greater in the middle generation compared with the distal or proximal generations of the same airway. Similarly, the Ca2+ oscillations varied in different generations of the same airway, with a slower frequency in the SMCs of the distal zone as compared with the middle or proximal zones of airways. By contrast, high KCl induced minimal contraction and very slow Ca2+ oscillations throughout the whole intrapulmonary airway. The slower agonist-induced Ca2+ oscillations in the distal zone correlated with a reduced expression of agonist receptors. The layer of SMCs increased in thickness in the middle and proximal zones. These results indicate that the contractility of airway SMCs varies at different positions along the same airway and that this response partially results from different Ca2+ signaling and the total amount of the SMCs.
Ca2+ oscillations; two-photon microscopy; lung slices; airway responsiveness
Ozone is an environmentally reactive oxidant, and pycnogenol is a mixture of flavonoid compounds extracted from pine tree bark that have antioxidant activity. We investigated the effects of pycnogenol on reactive nitrogen species, antioxidant responses, and airway responsiveness in BALB/c mice exposed to ozone.
Antioxidant levels were determined using high performance liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection. Nitric oxide (NO) metabolites in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid from BALB/c mice in filtered air and 2 ppm ozone with pycnogenol pretreatment before ozone exposure (n = 6) were quantified colorimetrically using the Griess reaction.
Uric acid and ascorbic acid concentrations were significantly higher in BAL fluid following pretreatment with pycnogenol, whereas γ-tocopherol concentrations were higher in the ozone exposed group but were similar in the ozone and pycnogenol pretreatment groups. Retinol and γ-tocopherol concentrations tended to increase in the ozone exposure group but were similar in the ozone and pycnogenol pretreatment groups following ozone exposure. Malonylaldehyde concentrations increased in the ozone exposure group but were similar in the ozone and pycnogenol plus ozone groups. The nitrite and total NO metabolite concentrations in BAL fluid, which parallel the in vivo generation of NO in the airways, were significantly greater in the ozone exposed group than the group exposed to filtered air, but decreased with pycnogenol pretreatment.
Pycnogenol may increase levels of antioxidant enzymes and decrease levels of nitrogen species, suggesting that antioxidants minimize the effects of acute ozone exposure via a protective mechanism.
Antioxidants; Nitric oxide; Reactive nitrogen species; Ozone
Premature infants are at increased risk of developing airway hyper-reactivity following oxidative stress and inflammation. Mast cells contribute to airway hyper-reactivity partly by mediator release, so we sought to determine if blocking mast cell degranulation or recruitment prevents hyperoxia-induced airway hyper-reactivity, mast cell accumulation, and airway smooth muscle changes. Rats were exposed at birth to air or 60% O2 for 14 days, inducing significantly increased airway hyper-reactivity (AHR) in the latter group, induced by nebulized methacholine challenge, measured by forced oscillometry. Daily treatment (postnatal days 1-14) with intraperitoneal cromolyn prevented hyperoxia-induced AHR, as did treatment with imatinib on postnatal days 5-14, compared with vehicle treated controls. Cromolyn prevented mast cell degranulation in the trachea but not hilar airways, and blocked mast cell accumulation in the hilar airways. Imatinib treatment completely blocked mast cell accumulation in tracheal/hilar airway tissues. Hyperoxia-induced AHR in neonatal rats is mediated, at least in part, via the mast cell.
Exposure to the major air pollutant ozone can aggravate asthma and other lung diseases. Our recent study in human volunteers has shown that the glutathione S-transferase mu 1 (GSTM1) null genotype is associated with increased airway neutrophilic inflammation induced by inhaled ozone. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of GSTM1 modulation on interleukin 8 (IL-8) production in ozone-exposed human bronchial epithelial cells (BEAS-2B) and the underlying mechanisms. Exposure of BEAS-2B cells to 0.4 ppm ozone for 4 h significantly increased IL-8 release with a modest reduction in intracellular reduced glutathione (GSH). Ozone exposure induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and NFκB activation. Pharmacological inhibition of NFκB activation or mutation of IL-8 promoter at κB-binding site significantly blocked ozone-induced IL-8 production or IL-8 transcriptional activity, respectively. Knockdown of GSTM1 in BEAS-2B cells enhanced ozone-induced NFκB activation and IL-8 production. Consistently, ozone-induced overt increase in IL-8 production was detected in GSTM1-null primary human bronchial epithelial cells. In addition, supplementation with reduced GSH inhibited ozone-induced ROS production, NFκB activation and IL-8 production. Taken together, GSTM1 deficiency enhances ozone-induced IL-8 production, which is mediated by generated ROS and subsequent NFκB activation in human bronchial epithelial cells.
ozone; IL-8; GSTM1; human bronchial epithelial cells; ROS; NFκB
We recently identified autocrine interferon (IFN)β as a novel mechanism mediating tumor necrosis factor (TNF)α-induced expression of inflammatory genes in airway smooth muscle (ASM) cells, including CD38, known to regulate calcium signaling. Here, we investigated the putative involvement of IFNβ in regulating TNFα-induced airway hyper-responsiveness (AHR), a defining feature of asthma. Using our pharmacodynamic model to assess ex vivo AHR isolated murine tracheal rings, we found that TNFα-induced enhanced contractile responses to carbachol and bradykinin was abrogated by neutralizing anti-IFNβ antibody or in tracheal rings deficient in CD38. In cultured human ASM cells, where CD38 has been involved in TNFα-induced enhanced calcium signals to carbachol and bradykinin, we found that neutralizing anti-IFNβ prevented TNFα enhancing action only on carbachol responses but not to that induced by bradykinin. In a well-characterized model of allergic asthma (mice sensitized and challenged with Aspergillus fumigatus (Af)), we found heightened expression of both IFNβ and CD38 in the airways. Furthermore, allergen-associated AHR to methacholine, assessed by lung resistance and dynamic compliance, was completely suppressed in CD38-deficient mice, despite the preservation of airway inflammation. These data provide the first evidence that ASM-derived IFNβ and CD38 may play a significant role in the development of TNFα-associated AHR.
Allergic asthma; Cytokine; Airway smooth muscle; Inflammation; Calcium signaling; Hypercontractility
The effects of low-level ozone exposure (0.08 ppm) on pulmonary function in healthy young adults are well known; however, much less is known about the inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects of low-level ozone in the airways. Techniques such as induced sputum and flow cytometry make it possible to examine airways inflammatory responses and changes in immune cell surface phenotypes following low-level ozone exposure. The purpose of this study was to determine if exposure to 0.08 parts per million ozone for 6.6 h induces inflammation and modifies immune cell surface phenotypes in the airways of healthy adult subjects. Fifteen normal volunteers underwent an established 0.08 part per million ozone exposure protocol to characterize the effect of ozone on airways inflammation and immune cell surface phenotypes. Induced sputum and flow cytometry were used to assess these endpoints 24 h before and 18 h after exposure. The results showed that exposure to 0.08 ppm ozone for 6.6 h induced increased airway neutrophils, monocytes, and dendritic cells and modified the expression of CD14, HLA-DR, CD80, and CD86 on monocytes 18 h following exposure. Exposure to 0.08 parts per million ozone is associated with increased airways inflammation and promotion of antigen-presenting cell phenotypes 18 hours following exposure. These findings need to be replicated in a similar experiment that includes a control air exposure.
Antigen-presenting cells; dendritic cell; inflammation; macrophage; ozone; pollution; polymorphonu-clear neutrophil
Histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors may offer novel approaches in the treatment of asthma. We postulate that trichostatin A (TSA), a Class 1 and 2 inhibitor of HDAC, inhibits airway hyperresponsiveness in antigen-challenged mice. Mice were sensitized and challenged with Aspergillus fumigatus antigen (AF) and treated with TSA, dexamethasone, or vehicle. Lung resistance (RL) and dynamic compliance were measured, and bronchial alveolar lavage fluid (BALF) was analyzed for numbers of leukocytes and concentrations of cytokines. Human precision-cut lung slices (PCLS) were treated with TSA and their agonist-induced bronchoconstriction was measured, and TSA-treated human airway smooth muscle (ASM) cells were evaluated for the agonist-induced activation of Rho and intracellular release of Ca2+. The activity of HDAC in murine lungs was enhanced by antigen and abrogated by TSA. TSA also inhibited methacholine (Mch)-induced increases in RL and decreases in dynamic compliance in naive control mice and in AF-sensitized and -challenged mice. Total cell counts, concentrations of IL-4, and numbers of eosinophils in BALF were unchanged in mice treated with TSA or vehicle, whereas dexamethasone inhibited the numbers of eosinophils in BALF and concentrations of IL-4. TSA inhibited the carbachol-induced contraction of PCLS. Treatment with TSA inhibited the intracellular release of Ca2+ in ASM cells in response to histamine, without affecting the activation of Rho. The inhibition of HDAC abrogates airway hyperresponsiveness to Mch in both naive and antigen-challenged mice. TSA inhibits the agonist-induced contraction of PCLS and mobilization of Ca2+ in ASM cells. Thus, HDAC inhibitors demonstrate a mechanism of action distinct from that of anti-inflammatory agents such as steroids, and represent a promising therapeutic agent for airway disease.
HDAC; asthma; allergen; mice; trichostatin A
Of the outdoor air pollutants regulated by the Clean Air Act of 1970 (and recently revised in 1990), ozone has been the one pollutant most difficult to control within the federal standards. The known human health effects are all on the respiratory system. At concentrations of ozone which occur during summer air-pollution episodes in many urban metropolitan areas of the United States, a portion of the healthy population is likely to experience symptoms and reversible effects on lung function, particularly if exercising heavily outdoors. More prolonged increase in airway responsiveness and the presence of inflammatory cells and mediators in the airway lining fluid may also result from these naturally occurring exposures. Serial exposures to peak levels of ozone on several consecutive days are more characteristic of pollution episodes in the Northeast United States and may be associated with recurrent symptoms. No "high-risk" or more sensitive group has been found, in contrast to the case of sulfur dioxide, to which asthmatics are more susceptible than normals. The occurrence of multiple exposure episodes within a single year over many years in some areas of California has led to studies looking for chronic effects of ozone exposure on the lung. To date, no conclusive studies have been reported, although further work is under way. Much of what we know about the effects of this gas on the lung are based on controlled exposures to pure gas within an environmental exposure laboratory. Interactions between substances which commonly co-occur in air-pollution episodes are also under investigation.
Ozone exposure causes airway hyperreactivity and increases hospitalizations resulting from pulmonary complications. Ozone reacts with the epithelial lining fluid and airway epithelium to produce reactive oxygen species and lipid peroxidation products, which then activate cell signaling pathways, including the mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway. Both p38 and c-Jun NH2 terminal kinase (JNK) are MAPK family members that are activated by cellular stress and inflammation. To test the contribution of both p38 and JNK MAPK to ozone-induced airway hyperreactivity, guinea pigs were pretreated with dual p38 and JNK MAPK inhibitors (30 mg/kg, ip) 60 minutes before exposure to 2 ppm ozone or filtered air for 4 hours. One day later airway reactivity was measured in anesthetized animals. Ozone caused airway hyperreactivity one day post-exposure, and blocking p38 and JNK MAPK completely prevented ozone-induced airway hyperreactivity. Blocking p38 and JNK MAPK also suppressed parasympathetic nerve activity in air exposed animals, suggesting p38 and JNK MAPK contribute to acetylcholine release by airway parasympathetic nerves. Ozone inhibited neuronal M2 muscarinic receptors and blocking both p38 and JNK prevented M2 receptor dysfunction. Neutrophil influx into bronchoalveolar lavage was not affected by MAPK inhibitors. Thus p38 and JNK MAPK mediate ozone-induced airway hyperreactivity through multiple mechanisms including prevention of neuronal M2 receptor dysfunction.