, Volume 150, Issue 2–4, pp 99–111 | Cite as

Effects of nitrogen dioxide and ozone on monkey lung ultrastructure

  • Robert F. Bils


Pulmonary ultrastructural abnormalities were studied in squirrel monkeys exposed to 30 ppm NO2 or 3 ppm O3 for three hours with intermittent exercise. The lung tissues were processed either immediately after exposure or 1, 4 or 7 days later. Both the transmission and scanning electron microscopes were used for observation. Initial changes caused by the NO2 were the presence of fibrin in the alveoli, blebbing of the alveolar epithelium and the removal of cilia from the terminal bronchiolar epithelium. Seven days after exposure the tissues appeared to be recovering. Three ppm O3 was more damaging to alveoli than the 30 ppm NO2. The epithelial lining was degenerating or completely gone in many loci. Where intact, the width of the blood-air barrier increased with exposure and further with delay of sacrifice. Abnormal porosity of the alveolar walls was generally observed and remained through seven days after exposure. An unusual number of “paired” type 2 epithelial cells were present and contained a few to many homogeneous spherical inclusions of medium density. The results observed indicate that quantitation of morphological changes will be possible even at ambient exposures of atmospheric pollutants.

Key words

Nitrogen Dioxide Ozone Lung Ultrastructure Alveolus Squirrel Monkey Exercise Toxicology TEM SEM 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert F. Bils
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.University of Southern CaliforniaLos Angeles
  2. 2.Specialized Center of Research-Environmental Lung DiseaseRancho Los Amigos HospitalDowney

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