Features of inflammatory bronchopulmonary process initiated by prolonged exposure to nitrogen dioxide were investigated in rats with normal and reduced immune reactivity. Inhibition of immune reactivity with immunosuppressant cyclophosphamide modified pneumotoxic effect of nitrogen dioxide. There was an increased influx of neutrophils into the inflammatory focus characterized by high absorptive capacity and high destructive potential. The significant stable increase in blood highly pathogenic immune complexes of medium molecular weight was observed. Detection of immune complexes in bronhoalveolar space after 30-day exposure to nitrogen dioxide indicated the significant damage of alveolar epithelium. In immunosuppressive rats inflammatory changes in lungs influenced by nitrogen dioxide inhalation were formed more rapidly than in control rats; signs of lung tissue remodeling (emphysema, sclerosis and fibrosis) were observed at 30-day exposure to nitrogen dioxide.
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