Your Gender, Your Lifestyle, and Your Lung's Ability to Deal with Ozone
Your body makes oxidants as part normal cellular activity and in response to things that you eat or do. Although too much these oxidants can cause all sorts of cellular damage you need some in order for cells to live. As in many parts of life--balance is important. We are interested in how tipping the scale toward or away from the cell (or the body) producing oxidants impacts the lung's cells ability to deal with ozone in airborne pollution.
To explore the role of gender and life style on lung cell's susceptibility to ozone damage we are examine the combined effect of ozone and ethanol, metabolic rate, selenium and estrogen. These different variables were chosen because
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The Ozone Connection
Since 1970, the United States government has been concerned with the relationship between ambient ozone and the health of the general population (Balmes 1993).
There is a positive corrleation between exposure to airborne oxidants, such as ozone, and pulmonary distress in both healthy and lung disease populations(Chen et al. 2007; Blames 1993; TenHoor et al. 2001; Urata 2006). However, we still don’t understand the cellular reason behind the correlation. More evidence would
- Extend our understanding of cellular mechanisms of defense against oxidative damage.
- Further clarify the the Environmental Protection Agency’s standard for permissible levels of ambient ozone (Balmes 1993) and
- Could lead to more effective lifestyle changes for sensitive groups and development of better treatments for lung disorders where ozone is a mitigating factor
We examine the effect of ozone on cultured lung cells through several different measures.
- Viability assays, examining mitochondrial function or secreted components, to determine if ozone exposure decreases the number of live cells
- Necrosis / Apoptosis assays to determine, if there is a decrease in viability, how the cells die
- GSH/GSSG assays to determine the redox state of the cell
- PGE2 assays to determine the degree of cellular inflammation
The combination of these different measures will help us to understand the net effect of ozone on lung cells.
Rat Lung Cells as Model
We use the L2 cell culture line as our model for the effect of ozone on the lung for several reasons.
- L2 cells are female rate type 2 pneumocytes alveolar cells
- Rats have been shown to be an appropriate model in whole organism studies exploring the effects of ozone exposure on the lungs (Topcuoglu et al. 2009; Singhal et al. 2008; Marquez-Garban et al. 2009; Buchmuller-Rouiller et al. 1995; Wang et al. 2006; Nadadur et al. 2005). Cell culture based approaches focus in on one cell type and therefore limit external variables.
- Type 2 pneumocytes are critical to both proper lung function and its maintentance (Wang et al. 2006). While previous research has focused on bronchiole cells, our group has chosen to focus on characterizing ozone's effect on the cells where gas exchange occurs.