Effects of exposure to NO2 on dome formation in alveolar epithelial cell monolayers.Environ Res 1987; 42(1):1-11ER
Primary cultured monolayers of rat Type II pneumocytes were used to investigate the effects of NO2 on alveolar epithelial barrier properties. Such monlayers form fluid-filled domes which are thought to result from active solute transport from medium to substratum, with water following passively. Using dome formation as a transport marker, 5-day-old cultures were directly exposed to 30 ppm NO2 in 5% CO2/air at 25 degrees C by cyclically tilting culture plates from side to side such that both halves of the monolayer were exposed during each cycle. Exposures consisted of 10 cycles of 4 min each (2 min per side), for a cell exposure time of 20 min. Control plates were simultaneously exposed to 5% CO2/air under identical conditions. Twenty-four hours after exposure, NO2-exposed monolayers exhibited significant decreases in dome density and individual dome volume as compared to controls. By 48 hr postexposure, differences between NO2-exposed and control values were less but remained significant. Control monolayers were essentially unaffected by exposure to 5% CO2/air. These results show that short-term sublethal exposures to NO2 produce a decrease in dome formation in Type II alveolar epithelial cell monolayers. This finding is most likely due to a decrease in the active transepithelial sodium transport rate and/or an increase in the permeability of cell membranes or tight junctions.