Pulmonary function, bronchial reactivity, and epithelial permeability are response phenotypes to ozone and develop differentially in healthy humans.
Effect of laboratory exposure to O₃ (220 ppb) and filtered air (FA) on respiratory physiology were evaluated at two time points (acute and 1 day postexposure) in healthy cohort (n = 138, 18-35 yr, 40% women) comprised mainly of Caucasian (60%) and African American (33.3%) subjects. Randomized exposures had a crossover design and durations of 2.25 h that included rest and treadmill walking. Airway responsiveness (AHR) to methacholine (Mch) and permeability of respiratory epithelium (EI) to hydrophilic radiomarker ((99m)Tc-DTPA, MW = 492), were measured at 1-day postexposure. O₃ significantly affected FEV₁ and FVC indices acutely with mean decrements from pre-exposure values on the order of 7.7 to 8.8% and 1.8 to 2.3% at 1-day post. Acute FEV₁ and FVC decreases were most robust in African American male subjects. At 1-day post, O₃ induced significant changes in AHR (slope of Mch dose response curve) and EI (Tc(99m)-DTPA clearance half-time). Based on conventional thresholds of response and dichotomous classification of subjects as responders and nonresponders, sensitivity to O₃ was shown to be nonuniform. Acute decrements ≥ 15% in FEV₁, a doubling of Mch slope, or ≥ 15% increase in EI developed in 20.3%, 23.1%, and 25.9%, respectively, of subjects evaluated. Results demonstrate a diffuse sensitivity to O₃ and physiological responses, either acutely (decreases in FEV₁) or 1 day post (development of AHR or change in EI) occur differentially in healthy young adults. Random overlap among subjects classified as responsive for respective FEV₁, AHR, and EI endpoints suggests these are separate and independent phenotypes of O₃ exposure.
Que, LG; Stiles, JV; Sundy, JS; Foster, WM
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