Taurine protects rat bronchioles from acute ozone-induced lung inflammation and hyperplasia

Georgia B. Schuller-Levis, Ronald E. Gordon, Eunkyue Park, Kimberly J. Pendino, Debra L. Laskin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Ozone is a potent respiratory irritant known to induce lung injury in humans and experimental animals. The present studies determined if ozone-induced lung inflammation was modified by pretreatment of animals with taurine, a detoxifying antioxidant. Rats were pre-treated for 10 days with 5% taurine in their drinking water (controls received water only) prior to exposure to 2 ppm ozone for 3 h. At 2, 6, 12, 24, 48, and 72 h after ozone exposure, rats were anesthetized and the lungs were perfusion-fixed for histopathologic evaluation. An additional group of rats was used to examine bronchoalveolar lavage cell counts and hydroxyproline levels. A count of bronchoalveolar lavage cells 48 h after ozone exposure showed significantly fewer total inflammatory cells and fewer polymorphonuclear leukocytes accompanied by a reduction in hydroxyproline in the lavage fluid of ozone-exposed rats pretreated with taurine compared to rats that did not receive taurine. Light microscopy revealed an inflammatory cell infiltrate in the lungs of rats exposed to ozone. This was followed by focal hyperplasia in the terminal and respiratory bronchioles. Rats pretreated with taurine and then exposed to ozone showed none of these alterations. In addition, although there was a significant reduction in cell proliferation as measured by DNA precursor incorporation in the lungs of rats pretreated with taurine prior to ozone exposure compared to unsupplemented rats, the distribution of labeled cells was the Same in taurine supplemented and unsupplemented groups. Also, significantly higher levels of taurine were found in the plasma, whole blood, and lavage fluid of rats pretreated with dietary taurine compared to rats that received water only. The results suggest that supplemental taurine protects rat lung epithelium from acute ozone-induced lung inflammation and hyperplasia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)877-888
Number of pages12
JournalExperimental Lung Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Clinical Biochemistry


  • Oxidant-induced lung injury
  • Taurine chloramine


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