Author(s): Schlesinger RB, Zelikoff JT, Chen LC, Kinney PL
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Abstract Studies examining effects of air pollutants often use single compounds, while "real world" exposures are to more than one chemical. Thus, it is necessary to assess responses following inhalation of chemical mixtures. Rabbits were exposed for 3 hr to sulfuric acid aerosol at 0, 50, 75, or 125 micrograms/m3 in conjunction with ozone at 0, 0.1, 0.3, or 0.6 ppm, following which broncho-pulmonary lavage was performed. Various pulmonary response endpoints related to general cytotoxicity and macrophage function were examined. In addition, a goal of the study was to define an improved approach to the analysis of data sets involving binary pollutant mixtures. Results were evaluated using analysis of variance with multiple linear contrasts to determine the significance of any effect in the pollutant-exposed groups compared to sham control animals and to assess the type, and extent, of any toxicological interaction between acid and ozone. Interaction was considered to occur when the effects of combined exposure were either significantly greater or less than additive. Pollutant exposures had no effect on lavage fluid levels of lactate dehydrogenase, prostaglandins E2 and F2 alpha, nor on the numbers, viability, or types of immune cells recovered by lavage. Phagocytic activity of macrophages was depressed at the two highest acid levels and at all levels of ozone. Exposure to all mixtures showed significant antagonism. Superoxide production by stimulated macrophages was depressed by acid exposure at the two highest concentrations, while ozone alone had no effect. Significant antagonistic interaction was observed following exposure to mixtures of 75 or 125 micrograms/m3 acid with 0.1 or 0.3 ppm ozone. The activity of tumor necrosis factor elicited from stimulated macrophages was depressed by acid at 75 and 125 micrograms/m3 while ozone had no effect. Exposure to mixtures of 125 micrograms/m3 acid with 0.3 or 0.6 ppm ozone resulted in synergistic interaction. This study provided additional evidence for antagonism between two common air pollutants and demonstrated that the type of interaction between sulfuric acid and ozone depended upon the endpoint but that the magnitude of any interaction was not always related to the exposure concentrations of the constituent pollutants.
This article was published in Toxicol Appl Pharmacol
and referenced in Advanced Techniques in Biology & Medicine