In vitro exposure of tracheobronchial epithelial cells and of tracheal explants to ozone

Brian K. Tarkington, Reen Wu, Sun Wei-Min Sun, Kristen J. Nikula, Dennis W Wilson, Jerold A Last

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


An in vitro system for exposing respiratory epithelial cells or explant tissues to ozone has been developed and characterized. This system is designed to generate and monitor consistent, reproducible levels of ozone, over a range of concentrations, in a humidified atmosphere, and to allow an exposure time of 24 h or longer. Based on chemical analysis, highly reproducible concentrations of ozone are delivered throughout the chamber, with a coefficient of variation of < 5% between five replicate vials exposed to 0.5 ppm of ozone for 50 min. The viability of cultured human tracheobronchial epithelial cells, as measured by the ability to oxidize a vital dye, and of rat tracheal epithelium, as measured by total numbers of necrotic cells in tracheal explants, after ozone exposure was examined in this system. Responses of cultured cells to ozone exposure as measured by bioassay were consistent with the observed low level of variability of ozone concentration between replicate incubation dishes or vials. Responses of cultured cells to ozone were proportional to duration of exposure and inversely proportional to the volume of medium covering the cells. We conclude that this newly developed in vitro exposure system will allow relatively simple and convenient exposure of cultured cells or organs to ozone or other gaseous agents under highly controlled and reproducible conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-68
Number of pages18
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Mar 11 1994


  • Air pollution
  • Cell culture
  • Ozone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


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