Ozone exposure enhances mast-cell inflammation in asthmatic airways despite inhaled corticosteroid therapy

N. Stenfors, J. Bosson, R. Helleday, A. F. Behndig, J. Pourazar, H. Tornqvist, F. J. Kelly, A. J. Frew, T. Sandstrom, I. S. Mudway, A. Blomber

Research output: Contribution to journalConference paper

13 Citations (Scopus)


Asthmatics are recognised to be more susceptible than healthy individuals to adverse health effects caused by exposure to the common air pollutant ozone. Ozone has been reported to induce airway neutrophilia in mild asthmatics, but little is known about how it affects the airways of asthmatic subjects on inhaled corticosteroids. We hypothesised that ozone exposure would exacerbate the pre-existent asthmatic airway inflammation despite regular inhaled corticosteroid treatment. Therefore, we exposed subjects with persistent asthma on inhaled corticosteroid therapy to 0.2 ppm ozone or filtered air for 2 h, on 2 separate occasions. Lung function was evaluated before and immediately after exposure, while bronchoscopy was performed 18 h post exposure. Compared to filtered air, ozone exposure increased airway resistance. Ozone significantly enhanced neutrophil numbers and myeloperoxidase levels in airway lavages, and induced a fourfold increase in bronchial mucosal mast cell numbers. The present findings indicate that ozone worsened asthmatic airway inflammation and offer a possible biological explanation for the epidemiological findings of increased need for rescue medication and hospitalisation in asthmatic people following exposure to ambient ozone.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133 - 139
Number of pages7
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2010
EventConference on International Biomass Smoke and Health Effects - Missoula, MT
Duration: 21 Aug 200722 Aug 2007


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