Ozone-induced airway epithelial cell death, the neurokinin-1 receptor pathway, and the postnatal developing lung.

Shannon R. Murphy, Karen L. Oslund, Dallas M. Hyde, Lisa Miller, Laura S. Van Winkle, Edward S Schelegle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Children are uniquely susceptible to ozone because airway and lung growth continue for an extensive period after birth. Early-life exposure of the rhesus monkey to repeated ozone cycles results in region-specific disrupted airway/lung growth, but the mediators and mechanisms are poorly understood. Substance P (SP), neurokinin-1 receptor (NK-1R); and nuclear receptor Nur77 (NR4A1) are signaling pathway components involved in ozone-induced cell death. We hypothesize that acute ozone (AO) exposure during postnatal airway development disrupts SP/NK-1R/Nur77 pathway expression and that these changes correlate with increased ozone-induced cell death. Our objectives were to 1) spatially define the normal development of the SP/NK-1R/Nur77 pathway in conducting airways; 2) compare how postnatal age modulates responses to AO exposure; and 3) determine how concomitant, episodic ozone exposure modifies age-specific acute responses. Male infant rhesus monkeys were assigned at age 1 mo to two age groups, 2 or 6 mo, and then to one of three exposure subgroups: filtered air (FA), FA+AO (AO: 8 h/day × 2 days), or episodic biweekly ozone exposure cycles (EAO: 8 h/day × 5 days/14-day cycle+AO). O3 = 0.5 ppm. We found that 1) ozone increases SP/NK-1R/Nur77 pathway expression in conducting airways, 2) an ozone exposure cycle (5 days/cycle) delivered early at age 2 mo resulted in an airway that was hypersensitive to AO exposure at the end of 2 mo, and 3) continued episodic exposure (11 cycles) resulted in an airway that was hyposensitive to AO exposure at 6 mo. These observations collectively associate with greater overall inflammation and epithelial cell death, particularly in early postnatal (2 mo), distal airways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican journal of physiology. Lung cellular and molecular physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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