EFFECTS OF SULFUR DIOXIDE ON RESPIRATORY EPITHELIUM
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To investigate the effects of sulfur dioxide (S02) on respiratory epithelium, an experiment was performed on 20 rabbits. Experimental animals were divided into four groups consisting of group 1 (control group), which was exposed only to air; group 2, which was exposed to 15 mg/m3 sulfur dioxide for 30 minutes; group 3, which was exposed to 15 mg/m3 SO2 for 30 minutes daily for 3 days; group 4, which was exposed to 15 mg/m3 SO2 for 30 minutes daily for 5 days. Only minor morphological alterations were observed in group 2. However, structural alterations of respiratory mucosa such as intracellular edema, loss of cilia, epithelial thinning, widened intercellular space, vacuolization and cytoplasmic protrusion were observed in groups 3 and 4. The basal lamina and the connective tissue were well preserved through the entire mucosa. Injuries to respiratory epithelium became severer with exposure time.