In vivo ozone exposure induces antioxidant/stress-related responses in murine lung and skin

Free Radic Biol Med. 2004 Mar 1;36(5):673-81. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2003.12.005.


Lung and skin are the organs directly exposed to environmental pollution. Ozone (O(3)) is a toxic, oxidant air pollutant, and exposure has been shown to induce antioxidant depletion as well as oxidation of lipids and proteins within the outermost skin layer (stratum corneum) and the lung respiratory tract lining fluids (RTLFs). To further define skin and lung responses to O(3) exposure, SKH-1 hairless mice were exposed to either 0.8 ppm of O(3) (a level occasionally reached in very polluted areas) or ambient air 6 h/day for 6 consecutive days. O(3) exposure resulted in the depletion of alpha-tocopherol in lung and plasma and induction in both skin and lung of heme oxygenase 1, cyclooxygenase 2, and proliferating cell nuclear antigen. O(3)-exposed animals showed a similar extent of upregulation of COX-2 and PCNA in lung and skin, whereas HO-1 was more responsive in skin than in lung (7-fold induction vs. 2-fold induction). In addition to these measures of response to oxidative stress, O(3) exposure led to the activation of nuclear factor kappaB measured as IkappaBalpha phosphorylation in both tissues. We conclude that in this model, O(3) at high pollutant levels is able to affect both lung and skin biology, inducing depletion of alpha-tocopherol and inducing stress-related responses in both skin epidermis and respiratory tract epithelium.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollution*
  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / metabolism*
  • Cyclooxygenase 2
  • Heme Oxygenase (Decyclizing) / metabolism
  • Heme Oxygenase-1
  • Isoenzymes / metabolism
  • Lung / enzymology*
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Mice
  • Mice, Hairless
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology
  • Ozone / toxicity*
  • Phosphorylation
  • Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen / metabolism
  • Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases / metabolism
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism
  • Skin / enzymology*
  • alpha-Tocopherol / blood
  • alpha-Tocopherol / metabolism


  • Antioxidants
  • Isoenzymes
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen
  • Ozone
  • Heme Oxygenase (Decyclizing)
  • Heme Oxygenase-1
  • Hmox1 protein, mouse
  • Cyclooxygenase 2
  • Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • NF-kappa B kinase
  • alpha-Tocopherol