To test the hypothesis that lung sensory C fibers protect the small distal airways and alveoli from oxidant injury, we compared the effects of inhalation of ozone (1 ppm) or filtered air for 8 h on lung injury and lung inflammation in four groups of rats: (1) normal rats exposed to filtered air; (2) normal rats exposed to ozone; (3) rats treated as neonates with capsaicin (50 mg/kg, intraperitoneally) and subsequently exposed to filtered air; and (4) rats treated as neonates with capsaicin and subsequently exposed to ozone. All rats were allowed to recover in filtered air for 0, 4, 16, and 40 h before necropsy. Rats exposed to filtered air (Groups 1 and 3) showed normal airway and parenchyma structure. Normal untreated rats exposed to ozone showed a random distribution of mild, interstitial inflammatory changes and epithelial necrosis of bronchi and bronchiolar epithelium. However, rats treated with capsaicin and subsequently exposed to ozone demonstrated severe acute interstitial inflammation and epithelial coagulate necrosis in all airways, especially in small, peripheral airways and parenchyma; all of these changes were statistically significant. These findings support our hypothesis that lung sensory C fibers protect the distal airways from oxidant injury during acute ozone inhalation.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine|
|State||Published - 1996|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine