Peripheral Blood Neutrophilia as a Biomarker of Ozone-Induced Pulmonary Inflammation

J. Bosson, A Blomberg, Nikolai Stenfors, Ragnberth Helleday, Frank Kelly, Annelie F. Behndig, Ian Mudway

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background

Ozone concentrations are predicted to increase over the next 50 years due to global warming and the increased release of precursor chemicals. It is therefore urgent that good, reliable biomarkers are available to quantify the toxicity of this pollutant gas at the population level. Such a biomarker would need to be easily performed, reproducible, economically viable, and reflective of ongoing pathological processes occurring within the lung.

Methodology

We examined whether blood neutrophilia occurred following a controlled ozone challenge and addressed whether this could serve as a biomarker for ozone-induced airway inflammation. Three separate groups of healthy subjects were exposed to ozone (0.2 ppm, 2h) and filtered air (FA) on two separate occasions. Peripheral blood samples were collected and bronchoscopy with biopsy sampling and lavages was performed at 1.5h post exposures in group 1 (n=13), at 6h in group 2 (n=15) and at 18h in group 3 (n=15). Total and differential cell counts were assessed in blood, bronchial tissue and airway lavages.

Results

In peripheral blood, we observed fewer neutrophils 1.5h after ozone compared with the parallel air exposure (-1.1±1.0x109 cells/L, p<0.01), at 6h neutrophil numbers were increased compared to FA (+1.2±1.3x109 cells/L, p<0.01), and at 18h this response had fully attenuated. Ozone induced a peak in neutrophil numbers at 6h post exposure in all compartments examined, with a positive correlation between the response in blood and bronchial biopsies.

Conclusions

These data demonstrate a systemic neutrophilia in healthy subjects following an acute ozone exposure, which mirrors the inflammatory response in the lung mucosa and lumen. This relationship suggests that blood neutrophilia could be used as a relatively simple functional biomarker for the effect of ozone on the lung.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere81816
Pages (from-to)N/A
Number of pages11
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume8
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2013

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