Studies on the biological effects of ozone: 8. Effects on the total antioxidant status and on interleukin-8 production

Mediators Inflamm. 1998;7(5):313-7. doi: 10.1080/09629359890820.


Ozone (O3) is a controversial gas because, owing to its potent oxidant properties, it exerts damaging effects on the respiratory tract and yet it has been used for four decades as a therapy. While the disinfectant activity of O3 is understandable, it is less clear how other biological effects can be elicited in human blood with practically no toxicity. On the other hand plasma and cells are endowed with a powerful antioxidant system so that a fairly wide range of O3 concentrations between 40 and 80 microg/ml per gram of blood (approximately 0.83-1.66 mM) are effective but not deleterious. After blood ozonation total antioxidant status (TAS) and plasma protein thiol groups (PTG) decrease by 20% and 25%, respectively, while thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) increases up to five-fold. The increase of haemolysis is negligible suggesting that the erythrocyte membrane is spared at the expense of other sacrificial substrates. While there is a clear relationship between the ozone dose and IL-8 levels, we have noticed that high TAS and PTG values inhibit the cytokine production. This is in line with the current idea that hydrogen peroxide, as a byproduct of O3 decomposition, acts as a messenger for the cytokine induction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antioxidants / metabolism*
  • Blood Proteins / chemistry
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Interleukin-8 / biosynthesis*
  • Interleukin-8 / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Ozone / administration & dosage
  • Ozone / blood
  • Ozone / pharmacology*
  • Sulfhydryl Compounds / blood
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances / metabolism


  • Antioxidants
  • Blood Proteins
  • Interleukin-8
  • Sulfhydryl Compounds
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances
  • Ozone