Immunologic Research

, Volume 49, Issue 1–3, pp 173–191 | Cite as

Ambient ozone and pulmonary innate immunity

  • Mashael Al-Hegelan
  • Robert M. Tighe
  • Christian Castillo
  • John W. Hollingsworth


Ambient ozone is a criteria air pollutant that impacts both human morbidity and mortality. The effect of ozone inhalation includes both toxicity to lung tissue and alteration of the host immunologic response. The innate immune system facilitates immediate recognition of both foreign pathogens and tissue damage. Emerging evidence supports that ozone can modify the host innate immune response and that this response to inhaled ozone is dependent on genes of innate immunity. Improved understanding of the complex interaction between environmental ozone and host innate immunity will provide fundamental insight into the pathogenesis of inflammatory airways disease. We review the current evidence supporting that environmental ozone inhalation: (1) modifies cell types required for intact innate immunity, (2) is partially dependent on genes of innate immunity, (3) primes pulmonary innate immune responses to LPS, and (4) contributes to innate-adaptive immune system cross-talk.


Environmental Toll-like receptor TLR4 CD44 Hyaluronan Asthma Genetic Gene × environment 



The authors appreciate financial support from the NIH (ES016126, ES016659, ES016347, Al081672, HL007538).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mashael Al-Hegelan
    • 1
  • Robert M. Tighe
    • 1
  • Christian Castillo
    • 1
  • John W. Hollingsworth
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care MedicineDuke University Medical CenterDurhamUSA
  2. 2.Department of ImmunologyDuke University Medical CenterDurhamUSA

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