Neutrophils enhance removal of ozone-injured alveolar epithelial cells in vitro

J. M. Cheek, Ruth J McDonald, L. Rapalyea, B. K. Tarkington, D. M. Hyde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


After acute exposure to oxidant gases in vivo, migration and accumulation of inflammatory cells in pulmonary epithelium coincides with epithelial cell necrosis. The present study was designed to test quantitatively the hypothesis that quiescent neutrophils enhance the removal of oxidant-injured pulmonary epithelial cells after exposure to ozone in vitro. Primary isolated rat alveolar type II cells were cultured as monolayers, using serum-free medium. After exposure to 0.1-0.5 ppm ozone for 0.5 h, apical sides of monolayers were administered either fresh nutrient medium only or medium containing quiescent human neutrophils. Monolayer bioelectric properties and cellular uptake of vital dye were recorded from 5 to 48 h after ozone exposure. Ozone dose-dependent increases in monolayer permeability were associated with proportionally higher numbers of injured epithelial cells. However, the direction and magnitude of neutrophil effects on monolayer permeability after ozone exposure were dependent on ozone concentration. Furthermore, neutrophil-treated monolayers exposed to 0.1 ppm ozone had significantly fewer attached cells positive for uptake of vital dye relative to monolayers exposed to the low level of ozone only; this effect was ablated with increasing ozone concentration. These data suggest that at high levels of ozone neutrophils may exacerbate injury to oxidant-impaired epithelial cells, whereas the presence of neutrophils after exposure to ambient concentrations of ozone may expedite the restoration of epithelial barrier function. We conclude that, by enhancing the removal of injured cells, neutrophils may facilitate the repair of centriacinar epithelium after ozone exposure in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number4 13-4
StatePublished - 1995


  • barrier function
  • inflammatory response
  • oxidant injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Neutrophils enhance removal of ozone-injured alveolar epithelial cells in vitro'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this