Ozone-induced epithelial injury in the ferret is similar to nonhuman primates

Anja Sterner-Kock, Martin Kock, Ruedi Braun, Dallas M. Hyde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Extrapolation to humans from rodent ozone exposure is limited by the anatomic differences between the species. Ferrets have similar pulmonary structures to humans, with well developed respiratory bronchioles and submucosal glands. We exposed adult ferrets, monkeys, and rats to 1 ppm ozone (O3) or filtered air for 8 h followed by 1 h in filtered air. Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) analysis, histopathology, and confocal microscopy were used to evaluate ozone-induced epithelial injury and inflammation. BAL showed significantly increased numbers of neutrophils in ozone-exposed as compared with filtered air ferrets, monkeys, and rats. However, there were 3- to 4-fold more neutrophils in monkeys and ferrets per milliliter of BAL than in rats. Ozone-exposed lungs showed a severe, acute infiltration of neutrophils in regions with necrotic epithelial cells, especially in the centriacinar region that was more severe in ferrets and monkeys than rats. We conclude that acute ozone exposure in ferrets induce severe epithelial necrosis and inflammation, results in similar epithelial injury compared with monkeys, and represents a better model of humans than rodents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1152-1156
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
Issue number3 I
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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