Low-level ozone exposure induces airways inflammation and modifies cell surface phenotypes in healthy humans

Inhal Toxicol. 2010 Jun;22(7):593-600. doi: 10.3109/08958371003596587.


The effects of low-level ozone exposure (0.08 ppm) on pulmonary function in healthy young adults are well known; however, much less is known about the inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects of low-level ozone in the airways. Techniques such as induced sputum and flow cytometry make it possible to examine airways inflammatory responses and changes in immune cell surface phenotypes following low-level ozone exposure. The purpose of this study was to determine if exposure to 0.08 parts per million ozone for 6.6 h induces inflammation and modifies immune cell surface phenotypes in the airways of healthy adult subjects. Fifteen normal volunteers underwent an established 0.08 part per million ozone exposure protocol to characterize the effect of ozone on airways inflammation and immune cell surface phenotypes. Induced sputum and flow cytometry were used to assess these endpoints 24 h before and 18 h after exposure. The results showed that exposure to 0.08 ppm ozone for 6.6 h induced increased airway neutrophils, monocytes, and dendritic cells and modified the expression of CD14, HLA-DR, CD80, and CD86 on monocytes 18 h following exposure. Exposure to 0.08 parts per million ozone is associated with increased airways inflammation and promotion of antigen-presenting cell phenotypes 18 hours following exposure. These findings need to be replicated in a similar experiment that includes a control air exposure.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antigens, Surface / biosynthesis
  • Antigens, Surface / genetics
  • Cell Membrane / drug effects*
  • Cell Membrane / genetics
  • Cell Membrane / pathology
  • Exercise Test / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunophenotyping*
  • Inflammation / chemically induced
  • Inflammation / genetics
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Inflammation Mediators / administration & dosage
  • Inflammation Mediators / adverse effects*
  • Inhalation Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Lung / drug effects
  • Lung / metabolism*
  • Lung / pathology
  • Male
  • Monocytes / immunology
  • Monocytes / metabolism
  • Monocytes / pathology
  • Ozone / administration & dosage
  • Ozone / adverse effects*
  • Sputum / cytology
  • Sputum / drug effects
  • Sputum / immunology
  • Young Adult


  • Antigens, Surface
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Ozone