THE INCIDENCE OF INDUSTRIAL AIR POLLUTION ON THE ALVEOLAR MACROPHAGES AND TYPE II PNEUMOCYTE OF ALBINO RAT
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The integrity of both pulmonary surfactant and surfactant producing cells, type II pneumocytes, is essential for normal pulmonary function. Almost all studies about air pollution effects on the pulmonary surfactant system have been performed by biochemical techniques, using atmospheric pollutants in a much higher concentration than that found in polluted city air. A comparative study of the number of lamellar bodies (LB) (pulmonary surfactant precursors) from type II pneumocytes . of rat lungs belonging to a contaminated city habitat and a non-contaminated countryside one has been carried out. Solid particles and high rates of nitrogen oxides in the polluted air, as well as, the oxygen metabolites produced by the macrophages, caused marked decrease in the amount of LB from type II pneumocytes. The average of LB per cell section in city rats was about 33% less than in countryside specimens. Moreover, a great amount of macrophages in the lungs from city rats has been shown to be present, whereas this cell type is very scare in the lung from country side rats.