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July 1971

Lung Capillary Permeability: Nitrogen Dioxide Exposure and Leakage of Tritiated Serum

Author Affiliations

Los Angeles

From the Department of Pathology, University of Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles.

Arch Intern Med. 1971;128(1):61-68. doi:10.1001/archinte.1971.00310190065007

A method has been developed for detection of altered lung capillary permeability and epithelial cell damage by low levels of nitrogen dioxide. Leakage of tritiated serum, injected intravenously before or at intervals after NO2 exposure, was detected by scintillation counting of dialyzed pulmonary lavage fluid. In experiments with mice, elevated readings were obtained for those exposed to continuous low levels of NO2. Determinations were also made of plasma levels and lung tissue content. Although good reproducibility and significant differences were not achieved in respect to the accumulation of reabsorbed serum and its large degradation products in lung tissue, evidence (including data from ultrastructural autoradiography) was found that serves to encourage further exploration. The results of the lavage fluid study by itself warrant strong consideration of the methodology as a highly sensitive and biologically meaningful indicator of adverse air pollutant levels.

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