Ozone stimulates the 'defensive' C-fibers in the lungs, changing breathing pattern to rapid and shallow. We hypothesized that when ozone is administered to the isolated lung with a rapid shallow breathing pattern rather than a slow deep pattern, relatively less airway epithelial damage would occur. Four groups of isolated buffer perfused rat lungs were exposed to ozone (1 ppm) or to filtered air for 90 min with either a slow deep (SDB, tidal volume 2.4 ml, frequency 40 breaths/min) or a rapid shallow breathing pattern (RSB, tidal volume 1.2 ml, frequency 80 breaths/min), resulting in an equivalent inspired dose. The absorbed dose of ozone did not differ between the exposed groups. Ethidium homodimer-1 was then instilled into the trachea to identify injured airway epithelial cells. The lungs were fixed, the airways were microdissected, and the airway epithelial cells were counterstained with YPRO-1 prior to evaluation with confocal microscopy. Ozone-induced airway epithelial cell injury occurred to a lesser overall degree when lungs were exposed by the RSB pattern (p = 0.003). The relative reduction in injury was greater (p < 0.05) in the proximal axial airway than in its adjacent airway branch and terminal bronchioles. Ozone induced an increase in pulmonary resistance with the SDB pattern but not with the RSB pattern. Thus, at an equivalent dose of inspired ozone, a RSB pattern resulted in less total damage than a SDB pattern and the distribution of protection was heterogeneous with proximal axial airways displaying the greatest relative reductions in epithelial damage. (C) 2000 Academic Press.
- Breathing pattern
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