Capsaicin-sensitive C-fiber-mediated protective responses in ozone inhalation in rats

Keith R. Vesely, Dallas M. Hyde, Mary Y. Stovall, Jack R. Harkema, Jerry F. Green, Edward S Schelegle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


To assess the role of lung sensory C fibers during and after inhalation of 1 part/million ozone for 8 h, we compared breathing pattern responses and epithelial injury-inflammation-repair in rats depleted of C fibers by systemic administration of capsaicin as neonates and in vehicle-treated control animals. Capsaicin-treated rats did not develop ozone-induced rapid, shallow breathing. Capsaicin-treated rats showed more severe necrosis in the nasal cavity and greater inflammation throughout the respiratory tract than did control rats exposed to ozone. Incorporation of 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (a marker of DNA synthesis associated with proliferation) into terminal bronchiolar epithelial cells was not significantly affected by capsaicin treatment in rats exposed to ozone. However, when normalized to the degree of epithelial necrosis present in each rat studied, there was less 5-bromo-2'- deoxyuridine labeling in the terminal bronchioles of capsaicin-treated rats. These observations suggest that the ozone-induced release of neuropeptides does not measurably contribute to airway inflammation but may play a role in modulating basal and reparative airway epithelial cell proliferation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)951-962
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1999


  • 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine labeling
  • C fibers
  • Morphometry
  • Ozone
  • Rapid, shallow breathing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Endocrinology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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