Repeated daily exposure to 2 ppm nitrogen dioxide upregulates the expression of IL-5, IL- 10, IL- 13, and ICAM-1 in the bronchial epithelium of healthy human airways

Pathmanathan, S.; Krishna, M. T.; Blomberg, A.; Helleday, R.; Kelly, F. J.; Sandstrom, T.; Holgate, S. T.; Wilson, S. J.; Frew, A. J.
November 2003
Occupational & Environmental Medicine;Nov2003, Vol. 60 Issue 11, p892
Academic Journal
Background: Repeated daily exposure of healthy human subjects to NO[sub2] induces an acute airway inflammatory response characterised by neutrophil influx in the bronchial mucosa Aims: To assess the expression of NF-κB, cytokines, and ICAM-1 in the bronchial epithelium. Methods: Twelve healthy, young non-smoking volunteers were exposed to 2 ppm of NO[sub2]/filtered air (four hours/day) for four successive days on separate occasions. Fibreoptic bronchoscopy was performed one hour after air and final NO[sub2] exposures. Bronchial biopsy specimens were immunostained for NF-κB, TNF-α, eotaxin, Gro-α, GM-CSF, IL-5, -6, -8, -10, -13, and ICAM-1 and their expression was quantified using computerised image analysis. Results: Expression of IL-5, IL-10, IL-13, and ICAM-1 increased following NO[sub2] exposure. Conclusion: Upregulation of the Th2 cytokines suggests that repeated exposure to NO2 has the potential to exert a "pro-allergic" effect on the bronchial epithelium. Upregulation of ICAM-1 highlights an underlying mechanism for leucocyte influx, and could also explain the predisposition to respiratory tract viral infections following NO[sub2] exposure since ICAM-1 is a major receptor for rhino and respiratory syncytial viruses.


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