We studied the effects of ozone (O3) exposure on airway mucus secretion. Sheep were exposed in vivo to 0.5 ppm O3, 4 h/day for 2 days (acute, n = 6), 6 wks (chronic, n = 6) or 6 wks + 1 wk recovery (chronic + recovery, n = 6). Secretion of glycoproteins (radiolabeled with 35SO4 and [3H]threonine), and transepithelial fluxes of Cl-, Na+ and water were subsequently measured in tracheal tissues in vitro, and were compared with values from control, unexposed sheep (n = 8). Acute O3 exposure increased basal secretion of sulfated glycoproteins (P < 0.05), but had no effect on ion fluxes. Chronic exposure reduced basal glycoprotein secretion, but increased net Cl- secretion. Under open-circuit conditions, chronic exposure also induced net water secretion (P < 0.05). With 7 days recovery, basal glycoprotein secretion (predominantly sulfated) was greatly increased above control, while the increased net secretion of Cl- and of water persisted (P < 0.05). Histology of the airways indicated that acute exposure induced moderate hypertrophy of submucosal glands in the lower trachea (P < 0.05), while chronic exposure (with and without recovery) induced a large hypertrophy of submucosal glands in both upper and lower trachea (P < 0.05). Without recovery, however, the gland cells were devoid of secretory material, whereas with recovery they were full of secretory material. This suggests that the decreased glycoprotein secretion with chronic exposure alone resulted from incomplete replenishment of intracellular stores after 6 wks of stimulation. We conclude that both short- and long-term O3 exposure causes airway-mucus hypersecretion.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physiology (medical)