We studied responses of the lung periphery to short-term exposures of 1.0 ppm ozone (O3). A fiber-optic bronchoscope was wedged in a segmental airway of anesthetized male mongrel dogs and was used to deliver O3 to a small portion of lung. Measurements of resistance through the collateral system (Rcs) were used to monitor responses to O3. During a 30-min exposure to O3, Rcs increased within 2 min (early phase) and then continued to increase throughout the exposure. Bilateral cervical vagotomy or pretreatment with atropine prevented or reduced the response measured at 2 min but not the later increase in Rcs. The later increase was reduced with chlorpheniramine. The administration of indomethacin intravenously and as an aerosol did not alter the response. These results indicate that the early phase of the response to 1.0 ppm ozone in the lung periphery is mediated through the parasympathetic system, and the later phase of the response is related in part to histamine release. We found no evidence that metabolites of the cyclooxygenase pathway played a role in these responses. Furthermore, unlike responses to 1.0 ppm, responses to 1.0 ppm O3 are not characterized by the development of adaptation or tolerance.
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