The effects of vitamin B-6 deficiency and ozone exposure on selected features of connective tissue metabolism in lung were investigated in groups of weanling male rats fed one of three diets: (1) B-6-supplemented, fed ad lib; (2) B-6-deficient, fed ad lib; or B-6-supplemented, restricted to the food intake of deficient rats for 5 weeks. Also, perinatal rat pups were studied that were nursed from dams fed one of the 3 diets from parturition to day 15 of lactation. During the final week of each experiment, half of the rats in each of the groups were exposed to 0.64 ppm of ozone (23.5 h per day). The collagen and elastin content, collagen synthesis rate, total protein synthesis rate, and lysyloxidase activity of lungs were measured. Perinatal pups rendered vitamin B-6-deficient were particularly sensitive to ozone exposure (65% died as compared to fewer than 5% of the ad lib or food-restricted controls). When l-proline incorporation into collagen and total protein was investigated using lung minces, food restriction and B-6- deficiency resulted in about one-half the incorporation normally observed. Total lung lysyl oxidase activity was also decreased in B-6-deficient and food-restricted rats compared to B-6-supplemented rats fed ad lib. Exposure to ozone resulted in increased lysyl oxidase activity and collagen synthesis in lungs from B-6-supplemented rats, but such responses were not observed in B-6-deficient or foodrestricted (FR) rats exposed to ozone.
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