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Biochemical Defense Mechanisms Against Pulmonary Irritants

Report Number: AMRL TR 67-212
Author: Carson, Steven
Author: Goldhamer, Richard E.
Corporate Author: Food and Drug Research Laboratories
Laboratory: Aerospace Medical Research Laboratories
Date of Publication: 1968-10
Pages: 138
Contract: AF 33(615)-5309
Project: 7163
AD Number: AD0680823

Studies were performed in which mammalian mucociliary apparatus has been characterized under normal conditions following exposure to three irritant gases, i.e., 100 per cent oxygen, ozone(O2) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2). Investigations were made in normal and treated animals providing physical, electrophysiological, biochemical, and morphologic data of effects due to exposure. A method for in vitro microscopic observation of viable cilia and adjacent mucus blanket has been described in terms of ciliary beat and movement of particles embedded in the mucus. In vitro volumetric estimation of mucus thickness was compared to electrical resistance measurements in the attempt to provide an in vivo method to determine mucus depth alterations in treated animals. Polarographic studies of oxygen dependent enzymes were carried out on pooled stripped epithelial tissue of untreated animals and comparison made with tissues exposed to ozone and nitrogen dioxide. Exposure to 100 per cent oxygen caused a significant but selflimiting decrease in mucus velocity and viscosity. Acute exposure to nitrogen dioxide (35 and 75 micrograms per kilogram) caused marked dose dependent changes in velocity and viscosity. Exposure to 0.5 ppm ozone for a 14 day period resulted in general mucostasis and elevated viscosity levels.

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