Title: Respiratory responses to exposures with fine particulates and nitrogen dioxide in the elderly with and without COPD.
Authors: Gong Jr, Henry; Linn, William S; Clark, Kenneth W; Anderson, Karen R; Geller, Michael D; Sioutas, Constantinos
Published In Inhal Toxicol, (2005 Mar)
Abstract: Elderly people, with and without chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), may be susceptible to particulate matter (PM) air pollution. However, the respiratory impacts of inhaled PM combined with copollutant(s) in controlled exposure studies are unclear and warrant investigation since exposures to PMgas mixtures constitute realistic scenarios. Thus, we exposed 6 healthy subjects and 18 volunteers with COPD (mean age 71 yr) on separate days to (a) filtered air (FA); (b) 0.4 ppm NO2; (c) concentrated ambient particles (CAP), predominantly in the fine (PM2.5) size range, at concentrations near 200 microg/m3; and (d) CAP and NO2 together. Each 2-h exposure included exercise for 15 min every half hour. Most respiratory responses, including symptoms, spirometry, and total and differential counts of induced sputum cells, showed no statistically significant responses attributable to separate or combined effects of CAP and NO2. However, maximal mid-expiratory flow and arterial O2 saturation (measured by pulse oximetry) showed small but statistically significant decrements associated with CAP, greater in healthy than COPD subjects. CAP exposure was also associated with decreased percentages of columnar epithelial cells in sputum. The results suggest that the respiratory effect of the PMNO2 mixture may be primarily PM driven since coexposure to NO2 did not significantly enhance the responses. In conclusion, older adults exposed to urban fine particles may experience acute small-airways dysfunction with impaired gas exchange. Healthy subjects appear more susceptible, suggesting that the respiratory effect may be related to efficient penetration and deposition of inhaled toxic particles in distal small airways. More clinical investigation of the elderly population is warranted.
PubMed ID: 15788373
MeSH Terms: Aged; Air Pollutants/toxicity*; Drug Synergism; Female; Forced Expiratory Volume; Humans; Leukocyte Count; Lung/drug effects*; Lung/physiopathology; Male; Maximal Midexpiratory Flow Rate; Nitrogen Dioxide/toxicity*; Oxidants, Photochemical/toxicity*; Particle Size; Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/physiopathology*; Spirometry; Sputum/cytology; Sputum/immunology