Severe acute oxidant exposure: Morphological damage and aerobic metabolism in the lung

M. R. Montgomery, F. Teuscher, I. LaSota, D. E. Niewoehner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Groups of male rats were exposed to acute doses of oxygen, ozone, or paraquat which produced equivalent mortality (25-30%) over a 28 day post-exposure period. Quantitative evaluation of morphological changes indicated the primary response to be edema and inflammation with only slight fibrosis being apparent by the end of the observation period. Aerobic pulmonary metabolism was inhibited in lungs from animals exposed to oxygen and ozone as evidenced by decreased oxygen consumption; however, this was transient and O2 consumption returned to normal within 24 hours after removal from the exposure chamber. Conversely, treatment with paraquat caused an immediate, transient stimulation of O2 consumption. Glucose metabolism was unaltered by the gas exposures and, as previously reported, was initially stimulated by paraquat treatment. In vitro, only paraquat altered both O2 consumption and glucose metabolism when added to lung slice preparations; ozone had no effect. Oxygen did not alter O2 consumption but caused a slight biphasic response in glucose metabolism. Aerobic metabolism is relatively unchanged by these doses of oxygen and ozone which result in the death of 25-30% of all treated animals. Even though paraquat produces similar morphologic changes, it may represent a more severe metabolic insult than 'equivalent' doses of oxygen or ozone. Also, if interstitial pulmonary fibrosis is a desired result of experimental exposure, rats may not be a suitable model for oxidant induced lung injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-180
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Environmental Pathology, Toxicology and Oncology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Dec 1 1986


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