Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Gender May Play Role In Recovery From Pneumonia After Ozone Exposure

Date:
June 26, 2007
Source:
Penn State
Summary:
Does air pollution have a bigger effect on the immune system of females than males? It did among mice exposed to ozone -- a major component in air pollution that is known to negatively affect lung function -- and then infected with pneumonia, as significantly more females died from the infection than males.

Does air pollution have a bigger effect on the immune system of females than males? It did among mice exposed to ozone -- a major component in air pollution that is known to negatively affect lung function -- and then infected with pneumonia, as significantly more females died from the infection than males.

Related Articles


It is known that some immune functions differ in males and females, in humans as well as in rodents. Generally, scientists use male animals in their research to avoid the complicating influence of female hormones on study data. Hypotheses based on single-sex results, however, may miss critical pieces of information. The researchers believe this study, for example, suggests that air pollutants, such as ozone, have a significantly higher negative effect on females than on males and that consideration of the role of environmental pollutants on health should take gender into account.

"If we could extrapolate what we found to the human population, it would mean women with lung infections may be at higher risk for negative outcomes if they are exposed to high amounts of air pollution, and in particular, ozone," said Joanna Floros, Ph.D., Penn State College of Medicine professor of cellular and molecular physiology, pediatrics and obstetrics and gynecology, and the lead investigator on the study.

More than 100 million people in the United States live in areas with ozone levels higher than recommended by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's air quality standards. Though ozone occurs naturally in the stratosphere and provides a protective layer high above the earth, it is the prime ingredient of smog at ground level. Smog is known to exacerbate respiratory problems.

In the study, mice were exposed for three hours either to filtered air or to air with high levels of ozone. They then were infected with a pneumonia bacteria at a dosage that assured all mice would become sick with the disease. Researchers monitored the mice for two weeks and calculated survival rates.

There were three obvious findings. First, the mice exposed to ozone before infection died more often than did mice that had breathed only filtered air.

Second, ozone was even more damaging to one type of mouse, which was genetically engineered without the gene responsible for producing a "protective" or host defense protein called SP-A and had even higher mortality from pneumonia than did ordinary (wild-type) mice, after both groups were exposed to ozone. SP-A is a molecule that provides first-line defense in the lung against various inhaled irritants, bacteria, viruses, and pollen, and it is a component of a complex substance (called surfactant) that coats the tiny air sacs in the lung and prevents the lungs from collapsing.

Third, ozone exposure significantly decreased the likelihood of surviving pneumonia exposure for the female mice compared to males. In both the wild-type mice and in the genetically altered mice, being female increased the risk of death.

This research study, led by senior postdoctoral fellow Anatoly Mikerov, Ph.D., is ongoing. Some results were presented at the recent Experimental Biology Meeting. Support for this work came from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Penn State. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Penn State. "Gender May Play Role In Recovery From Pneumonia After Ozone Exposure." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 June 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070625131625.htm>.
Penn State. (2007, June 26). Gender May Play Role In Recovery From Pneumonia After Ozone Exposure. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070625131625.htm
Penn State. "Gender May Play Role In Recovery From Pneumonia After Ozone Exposure." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070625131625.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Antarctic Sea Ice Mystery Thickens... Literally

Antarctic Sea Ice Mystery Thickens... Literally

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — Antarctic sea ice isn't only expanding, it's thicker than previously thought, and scientists aren't sure exactly why. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
3D Map of Antarctic Sea Ice to Shed Light on Climate Change

3D Map of Antarctic Sea Ice to Shed Light on Climate Change

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) — A multinational group of scientists have released the first ever detailed, high-resolution 3-D maps of Antarctic sea ice. Using an underwater robot equipped with sonar, the researchers mapped the underside of a massive area of sea ice to gauge the impact of climate change. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Car Park Solution for Flexible Green Energy

Car Park Solution for Flexible Green Energy

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) — A British solar power start-up says that by covering millions of existing car park spaces around the UK with flexible solar panels, the country's power problems could be solved. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Yellow-Spotted Turtles Rescued from Trafficking

Yellow-Spotted Turtles Rescued from Trafficking

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) — Hundreds of Amazon River turtles released into the wild in Peru. Sharon Reich reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins