Ozone is a highly reactive environmental pollutant with well-recognized adverse effects on lung health. Bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR) is one consequence of ozone exposure, particularly for individuals with underlying lung disease. Our data demonstrated that ozone induced substantial ATP release from human airway epithelia in vitro and into the airways of mice in vivo and that ATP served as a potent inducer of mast cell degranulation and BHR, acting through P2X7 receptors on mast cells. Both mast cell–deficient and P2X7 receptor–deficient (P2X7–/–) mice demonstrated markedly attenuated BHR to ozone. Reconstitution of mast cell–deficient mice with WT mast cells and P2X7–/– mast cells restored ozone-induced BHR. Despite equal numbers of mast cells in reconstituted mouse lungs, mice reconstituted with P2X7–/– mast cells demonstrated significantly less robust BHR than mice reconstituted with WT mast cells. These results support a model where P2X7 on mast cells and other cell types contribute to ozone-induced BHR.


Xiaomei Kong, William C. Bennett, Corey M. Jania, Kelly D. Chason, Zachary German, Jennifer Adouli, Samuel D. Budney, Brandon T. Oby, Catharina van Heusden, Eduardo R. Lazarowski, Ilona Jaspers, Scott H. Randell, Barry A. Hedgespeth, Glenn Cruse, Xiaoyang Hua, Stephen A. Schworer, Gregory J. Smith, Samir N.P. Kelada, Stephen L. Tilley


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