Inflammatory lung diseases affect men and women disproportionately, suggesting that fluctuations of circulating hormone levels mediate inflammatory responses. Studies have shown that ozone exposure contributes to lung injury and impairment of innate immunity with differential effects in men and women. Here, we hypothesized that 17β-estradiol enhances inflammation and airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR), triggered by ozone exposure, in the female lung. We performed gonadectomy and hormone treatment (17β-estradiol, 2 wk) in C57BL/6J female and male mice and exposed animals to 1 ppm of ozone or filtered air for 3 h. Twenty-four hours later, we tested lung function, inflammatory gene expression, and changes in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF). We found increased AHR and expression of inflammatory genes after ozone exposure. These changes were higher in females and were affected by gonadectomy and 17β-estradiol treatment in a sex-specific manner. Gonadectomized male mice displayed higher AHR and inflammatory gene expression than controls exposed to ozone; 17β-estradiol treatment did not affect this response. In females, ovariectomy reduced ozone-induced AHR, which was restored by 17β-estradiol treatment. Ozone exposure also increased BALF lipocalin-2, which was reduced in both male and female gonadectomized mice. Treatment with 17β-estradiol increased lipocalin-2 levels in females but lowered them in males. Gonadectomy also reduced ozone-induced expression of lung IL-6 and macrophage inflammatory protein-3 in females, which was restored by treatment with 17β-estradiol. Together, these results indicate that 17β-estradiol increases ozone-induced inflammation and AHR in females but not in males. Future studies examining diseases associated with air pollution exposure should consider the patient's sex and hormonal status.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||American journal of physiology. Lung cellular and molecular physiology|
|State||Published - Nov 1 2019|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Physiology (medical)
- Cell Biology