Acute ozone-induced airway epithelial injury and inflammation in the ferret lung

D. M. Hyde, M. Kock, A. Sterner-Kock, R. Braun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of the study was to assess the sensitivity of acute ozone exposure on the ferret lung. Extrapolation to humans from rodent ozone exposure has been limited by the physiological and anatomical differences between the species. Ferret's have similar pulmonary structure to humans, such as well-developed respiratory bronchioles and large numbers of submucosal glands. We exposed adult ferrets to ozone at a cone, of 1 ppm (n=8), or filtered air (FA) (n=8) for 8 hs followed by 1 hr in FA. One hr before sacrifice the animals were injected with 5-Bromo 2-Deoxyuridine (BrdU) IP. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) analysis, BrdU immunochemistry and microdissected airways of lungs were evaluated morphologically for ozone induced epithelial injury and inflammation. BALF showed significantly increased numbers of neutrophils in the ozone-exposed as compared with FA ferrets. Ozone-exposed lungs showed severe, acute infiltration of large numbers of neutrophils in regions with necrotic epithelial cells, especially in the centri-acinar region. BrdU cell labeling showed significantly greater airway epithelial cell labeling in the ozone-exposed as compared with FA ferrets. We conclude that acute ozone exposure in ferrets: (1) induces severe airway epithelial necrosis and inflammation, (2) induces marked airway epithelial repair and (3) results in similar airway epithelial injury as compared with monkeys and represents a better model of human exposure than rodents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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