Airway inflammation in smokers and nonsmokers with varying responsiveness to ozone

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1997 Sep;156(3 Pt 1):728-36. doi: 10.1164/ajrccm.156.3.9601054.


Exposure to ozone causes symptoms, changes in lung function, and airway inflammation. We studied whether individuals who differ in lung-function responsiveness to ozone, or in smoking status, also differ in susceptibility to airway inflammation. Healthy subjects were selected on the basis of responsiveness to a classifying exposure to 0.22 ppm ozone for 4 h with exercise (responders, with a decrease in FEV1 > 15%; and non-responders, with a decrease in FEV1 < 5%). Three groups were studied: nonsmoker-nonresponders (n = 12), nonsmoker-responders (n = 13), and smokers (n = 13, 11 nonresponders and two responders). Each subject underwent two exposures to ozone and one to air, separated by at least 3 wk; bronchoalveolar and nasal lavages were performed on three occasions: immediately (early) and 18 h (late) after ozone exposure, and either early or late after air exposure. Recovery of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN) increased progressively in all groups, and by up to 6-fold late after ozone exposure. Interleukin-6 (IL-6) and IL-8 increased early (by up to 10-fold and up to 2-fold, respectively), and correlated with the late increase in PMN. Lymphocytes, mast cells, and eosinophils also increased late after exposure. We conclude that ozone-induced airway inflammation is independent of smoking status or airway responsiveness to ozone.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Bronchial Hyperreactivity / chemically induced*
  • Bronchial Hyperreactivity / immunology*
  • Bronchial Hyperreactivity / pathology
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / chemistry
  • Disease Susceptibility
  • Female
  • Forced Expiratory Volume / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Inflammation
  • Interleukin-6 / analysis
  • Interleukin-8 / analysis
  • Male
  • Neutrophils
  • Oxidants, Photochemical / toxicity*
  • Ozone / toxicity*
  • Smoking / adverse effects*


  • Interleukin-6
  • Interleukin-8
  • Oxidants, Photochemical
  • Ozone