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Associations of oxidative stress and inflammatory biomarkers with chemically-characterized air pollutant exposures in an elderly cohort.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Exposure to air pollution has been associated with cardiorespiratory morbidity and mortality. However, the chemical constituents and pollution sources underlying these associations remain unclear. METHOD:We conducted a cohort panel study involving 97 elderly subjects living in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. Airway and circulating biomarkers of oxidative stress and inflammation were measured weekly over 12 weeks and included, exhaled breath condensate malondialdehyde (EBC MDA), fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO), plasma oxidized low-density lipoprotein (oxLDL), and plasma interleukin-6 (IL-6). Exposures included 7-day personal nitrogen oxides (NOx), daily criteria-pollutant data, five-day average particulate matter (PM) measured in three size-fractions and characterized by chemical components including transition metals, and in vitro PM oxidative potential (dithiothreitol and macrophage reactive oxygen species). Associations between biomarkers and pollutants were assessed using linear mixed effects regression models. RESULTS:We found significant positive associations of airway oxidative stress and inflammation with traffic-related air pollutants, ultrafine particles and transition metals. Positive but nonsignificant associations were observed with PM oxidative potential. The strongest associations were observed among PM variables in the ultrafine range (PM <0.18µm). It was estimated that an interquartile increase in 5-day average ultrafine polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons was associated with a 6.3% (95% CI: 1.1%, 11.6%) increase in EBC MDA and 6.7% (95% CI: 3.4%, 10.2%) increase in FeNO. In addition, positive but nonsignificant associations were observed between oxLDL and traffic-related pollutants, ultrafine particles and transition metals while plasma IL-6 was positively associated with 1-day average traffic-related pollutants. CONCLUSION:Our results suggest that exposure to pollutants with high oxidative potential (traffic-related pollutants, ultrafine particles, and transition metals) may lead to increased airway oxidative stress and inflammation in elderly adults. This observation was less clear with circulating biomarkers.
Project description:Specific characteristics of particulate matter (PM) responsible for associations with respiratory health observed in epidemiological studies are not well established. High correlations among, and differential measurement errors of, individual components contribute to this uncertainty.We investigated which characteristics of PM have the most consistent associations with acute changes in respiratory function in healthy volunteers.We used a semiexperimental design to accurately assess exposure. We increased exposure contrast and reduced correlations among PM characteristics by exposing volunteers at five different locations: an underground train station, two traffic sites, a farm, and an urban background site. Each of the 31 participants was exposed for 5 hr while exercising intermittently, three to seven times at different locations during March-October 2009. We measured PM10, PM2.5, particle number concentrations (PNC), absorbance, elemental/organic carbon, trace metals, secondary inorganic components, endotoxin content, gaseous pollutants, and PM oxidative potential. Lung function [FEV1 (forced expiratory volume in 1 sec), FVC (forced vital capacity), FEF25-75 (forced expiratory flow at 25-75% of vital capacity), and PEF (peak expiratory flow)] and fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FENO) were measured before and at three time points after exposure. Data were analyzed with mixed linear regression.An interquartile increase in PNC (33,000 particles/cm3) was associated with an 11% [95% confidence interval (CI): 5, 17%] and 12% (95% CI: 6, 17%) FENO increase over baseline immediately and at 2 hr postexposure, respectively. A 7% (95% CI: 0.5, 14%) increase persisted until the following morning. These associations were robust and insensitive to adjustment for other pollutants. Similarly consistent associations were seen between FVC and FEV1 with PNC, NO2 (nitrogen dioxide), and NOx (nitrogen oxides).Changes in PNC, NO2, and NOx were associated with evidence of acute airway inflammation (i.e., FENO) and impaired lung function. PM mass concentration and PM10 oxidative potential were not predictive of the observed acute responses.
Project description:Short-term exposure to ambient air pollution has been associated with acute increases in cardiovascular hospitalization and mortality. However, causative chemical components and underlying pathophysiological mechanisms remain to be clarified. We hypothesized that endothelial dysfunction would be associated with mobile-source (traffic) air pollution and that pollutant components with higher oxidative potential to generate reactive oxygen species (ROS) would have stronger associations.We carried out a cohort panel study in 93 elderly non-smoking adults living in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, during July 2012-February 2014. Microvascular function, represented by reactive hyperemia index (RHI), was measured weekly for up to 12 weeks (N?=?845). Air pollutant data included daily data from regional air-monitoring stations, five-day average PM chemical components and oxidative potential in three PM size-fractions, and weekly personal nitrogen oxides (NOx). Linear mixed-effect models estimated adjusted changes in microvascular function with exposure.RHI was inversely associated with traffic-related pollutants such as ambient PM2.5 black carbon (BC), NOx, and carbon monoxide (CO). An interquartile range change increase (1.06 ?g/m(3)) in 5-day average BC was associated with decreased RHI, -0.093 (95 % CI: -0.151, -0.035). RHI was inversely associated with other mobile-source components/tracers (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, elemental carbon, and hopanes), and PM oxidative potential as quantified in two independent assays (dithiothreitol and in vitro macrophage ROS) in accumulation and ultrafine PM, and transition metals.Our findings suggest that short-term exposures to traffic-related air pollutants with high oxidative potential are major components contributing to microvascular dysfunction.
Project description:Ambient particulate matter (PM) exposure is associated with respiratory and cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. To what extent such effects are different for PM obtained from different sources or locations is still unclear. This study investigated the in vitro toxicity of ambient PM collected at different sites in the Netherlands in relation to PM composition and oxidative potential.PM was sampled at eight sites: three traffic sites, an underground train station, as well as a harbor, farm, steelworks, and urban background location. Coarse (2.5-10 ?m), fine (< 2.5 ?m) and quasi ultrafine PM (qUF; < 0.18 ?m) were sampled at each site. Murine macrophages (RAW 264.7 cells) were exposed to increasing concentrations of PM from these sites (6.25-12.5-25-50-100 ?g/ml; corresponding to 3.68-58.8 ?g/cm2). Following overnight incubation, MTT-reduction activity (a measure of metabolic activity) and the release of pro-inflammatory markers (Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha, TNF-?; Interleukin-6, IL-6; Macrophage Inflammatory Protein-2, MIP-2) were measured. The oxidative potential and the endotoxin content of each PM sample were determined in a DTT- and LAL-assay respectively. Multiple linear regression was used to assess the relationship between the cellular responses and PM characteristics: concentration, site, size fraction, oxidative potential and endotoxin content.Most PM samples induced a concentration-dependent decrease in MTT-reduction activity and an increase in pro-inflammatory markers with the exception of the urban background and stop & go traffic samples. Fine and qUF samples of traffic locations, characterized by a high concentration of elemental and organic carbon, induced the highest pro-inflammatory activity. The pro-inflammatory response to coarse samples was associated with the endotoxin level, which was found to increase dramatically during a three-day sample concentration procedure in the laboratory. The underground samples, characterized by a high content of transition metals, showed the largest decrease in MTT-reduction activity. PM size fraction was not related to MTT-reduction activity, whereas there was a statistically significant difference in pro-inflammatory activity between Fine and qUF PM. Furthermore, there was a statistically significant negative association between PM oxidative potential and MTT-reduction activity.The response of RAW264.7 cells to ambient PM was markedly different using samples collected at various sites in the Netherlands that differed in their local PM emission sources. Our results are in support of other investigations showing that the chemical composition as well as oxidative potential are determinants of PM induced toxicity in vitro.
Project description:Introduction:Particulate matter (PM) and cigarette-related cadmium exposure increases inflammation and smokers' susceptibility to developing lung diseases. The majority of inhaled metals are attached to the surface of ultrafine particles (UFPs). A low inhaled UFP content in exhaled breath condensate (EBC) reflects a high inflammatory status of airways. Methods:EBC was collected from 58 COPD patients and 40 healthy smokers and nonsmokers. Participants underwent spirometry, diffusion capacity, EBC and blood sampling. Environmental pollution data were collected from monitoring stations. UFPs were measured in EBC and serum, and cadmium content was quantified. Results:Subjects with low UFP concentrations in EBC (<0.18×108·mL-1) had been exposed to higher long-term PM2.5 levels versus subjects with high UFP concentrations in EBC (>0.18×108·mL-1) (21.9 µg·m-3 versus 17.4 µg·m-3, p?0.001). Long-term PM2.5 exposure levels correlated negatively with UFP concentrations in EBC and positively with UFP concentrations in serum (r=-0.54, p?0.001 and r=0.23, p=0.04, respectively). Healthy smokers had higher cadmium levels in EBC versus healthy nonsmokers and COPD patients (25.2 ppm versus 23.7 ppm and 23.3 ppm, p=0.02 and p=0.002, respectively). Subjects with low UFP concentrations in EBC also had low cadmium levels in EBC versus subjects with high UFP levels (22.8 ppm versus 24.2 ppm, p=0.004). Conclusions:Low UFP concentration in EBC is an indicator of high-level PM exposure. High cadmium levels in EBC among smokers and the association between cadmium and UFP content in EBC among COPD patients indicate cadmium lung toxicity.
Project description:Gene expression changes are linked to air pollutant exposures in in vitro and animal experiments. However, limited data are available on how these outcomes relate to ambient air pollutant exposures in humans. We performed an exploratory analysis testing whether gene expression levels were associated with air pollution exposures in a Los Angeles area cohort of elderly subjects with coronary artery disease. Candidate genes (35) were selected from published studies of gene expression-pollutant associations. Expression levels were measured weekly in 43 subjects (? 12 weeks) using quantitative PCR. Exposures included gaseous pollutants O3, nitrogen oxides (NOx), and CO; particulate matter (PM) pollutants elemental and black carbon (EC, BC); and size-fractionated PM mass. We measured organic compounds from PM filter extracts, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and determined the in vitro oxidative potential of particle extracts. Associations between exposures and gene expression levels were analyzed using mixed-effects regression models. We found positive associations of traffic-related pollutants (EC, BC, primary organic carbon, PM 0.25-2.5 PAH and/or PM 0.25 PAH, and NOx) with NFE2L2, Nrf2-mediated genes (HMOX1, NQO1, and SOD2), CYP1B1, IL1B, and SELP. Findings suggest that NFE2L2 gene expression links associations of traffic-related air pollution with phase I and II enzyme genes at the promoter transcription level.
Project description:Underground railway stations are known to have elevated particulate matter (PM) loads compared to ambient air. As these particles are derived from metal-rich sources and transition metals may pose a risk to health by virtue of their ability to catalyze generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), their potential enrichment in underground environments is a source of concern. Compared to coarse (PM10) and fine (PM2.5) particulate fractions of underground railway airborne PM, little is known about the chemistry of the ultrafine (PM0.1) fraction that may contribute significantly to particulate number and surface area concentrations. This study uses inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry and ion chromatography to compare the elemental composition of size-fractionated underground PM with woodstove, roadwear generator, and road tunnel PM. Underground PM is notably rich in Fe, accounting for greater than 40% by mass of each fraction, and several other transition metals (Cu, Cr, Mn, and Zn) compared to PM from other sources. Importantly, ultrafine underground PM shows similar metal-rich concentrations as the coarse and fine fractions. Scanning electron microscopy revealed that a component of the coarse fraction of underground PM has a morphology indicative of generation by abrasion, absent for fine and ultrafine particulates, which may be derived from high-temperature processes. Furthermore, underground PM generated ROS in a concentration- and size-dependent manner. This study suggests that the potential health effects of exposure to the ultrafine fraction of underground PM warrant further investigation as a consequence of its greater surface area/volume ratio and high metal content.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Intrauterine growth restriction has been associated with exposure to air pollution, but there is a need to clarify which sources and components are most likely responsible. This study investigated the associations between low birth weight (LBW, <2500g) in term born infants (?37 gestational weeks) and air pollution by source and composition in California, over the period 2001-2008. METHODS:Complementary exposure models were used: an empirical Bayesian kriging model for the interpolation of ambient pollutant measurements, a source-oriented chemical transport model (using California emission inventories) that estimated fine and ultrafine particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM0.1, respectively) mass concentrations (4km×4km) by source and composition, a line-source roadway dispersion model at fine resolution, and traffic index estimates. Birth weight was obtained from California birth certificate records. A case-cohort design was used. Five controls per term LBW case were randomly selected (without covariate matching or stratification) from among term births. The resulting datasets were analyzed by logistic regression with a random effect by hospital, using generalized additive mixed models adjusted for race/ethnicity, education, maternal age and household income. RESULTS:In total 72,632 singleton term LBW cases were included. Term LBW was positively and significantly associated with interpolated measurements of ozone but not total fine PM or nitrogen dioxide. No significant association was observed between term LBW and primary PM from all sources grouped together. A positive significant association was observed for secondary organic aerosols. Exposure to elemental carbon (EC), nitrates and ammonium were also positively and significantly associated with term LBW, but only for exposure during the third trimester of pregnancy. Significant positive associations were observed between term LBW risk and primary PM emitted by on-road gasoline and diesel or by commercial meat cooking sources. Primary PM from wood burning was inversely associated with term LBW. Significant positive associations were also observed between term LBW and ultrafine particle numbers modeled with the line-source roadway dispersion model, traffic density and proximity to roadways. DISCUSSION:This large study based on complementary exposure metrics suggests that not only primary pollution sources (traffic and commercial meat cooking) but also EC and secondary pollutants are risk factors for term LBW.
Project description:Several studies evaluating exposure to pollutants in microenvironments (MEs) are available in the scientific literature, but studies that evaluate the inhaled doses of pollutants are few in number. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate the exposure of commuters to different pollutants (i.e., nitrogen dioxide [NO2] and fractionated particulate matter [PM], including ultrafine particles [UFPs]) using miniaturized and portable real-time monitoring instruments in selected MEs; the inhaled doses of these pollutants were estimated for each of these MEs. Measurements were performed along a typical commute, considering different traffic and nontraffic MEs. Experimental data were collected over four working weeks in two different seasons (winter and summer). Different portable and miniaturized instruments were used to evaluate PM and NO2 exposure. Furthermore, physiological parameters were evaluated using a heart rate monitor. The principal results show that higher exposure levels were measured in Underground (for all PM fractions and NO2) and in Car (UFP), while lower levels were measured in Car (PM and NO2) and in Train (UFP). In contrast, higher values of the inhaled cumulative dose were estimated in environments defined as Other, followed by Walking (ht), while lower values were observed in Walking (lt) and in Car.
Project description:Epidemiological and toxicological studies have suggested that the health effects associated with exposure to particulate matter (PM) are related to the different physicochemical properties of PM. These effects occur through the initiation of differential cellular responses including: the induction of antioxidant defenses, proinflammatory responses, and ultimately cell death. The main objective of this study was to investigate the effects of size-fractionated ambient PM on epithelial cells in relation to their physicochemical properties. Concentrated ambient PM was collected on filters for three size fractions: coarse (aerodynamic diameter [AD] 2.5-10 ?m), fine (0.15-2.5 ?m), and quasi-ultrafine (<0.2 ?m), near a busy street in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Filters were extracted and analyzed for chemical composition and redox activity. Chemical analyses showed that the coarse, fine, and quasi-ultrafine particles were comprised primarily of metals, water-soluble species, and organic compounds, respectively. The highest redox activity was observed for fine PM. After exposure of A549 cells to PM (10-100 ?g/ml) for 4 h, activation of antioxidant, proinflammatory and cytotoxic responses were assessed by determining the expression of heme oxygenase (HMOX-1, mRNA), interleukin-8 (IL-8, mRNA), and metabolic activity of the cells, respectively. All three size fractions induced mass-dependent antioxidant, proinflammatory, and cytotoxic responses to different degrees. Quasi-ultrafine PM caused significant induction of HMOX-1 at the lowest exposure dose. Correlation analyses with chemical components suggested that the biological responses correlated mainly with transition metals and organic compounds for coarse and fine PM and with organic compounds for quasi-ultrafine PM. Overall, the observed biological responses appeared to be related to the combined effects of size and chemical composition and thus both of these physicochemical properties should be considered when explaining PM toxicity.
Project description:Mitochondria are the main source of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Human mitochondrial haplogroups are linked to differences in ROS production and oxidative-stress induced inflammation that may influence disease pathogenesis, including coronary artery disease (CAD). We previously showed that traffic-related air pollutants were associated with biomarkers of systemic inflammation in a cohort panel of subjects with CAD in the Los Angeles air basin.We tested whether air pollutant exposure-associated inflammation was stronger in mitochondrial haplogroup H than U (high versus low ROS production) in this panel (38 subjects and 417 observations).Inflammation biomarkers were measured weekly in each subject (? 12 weeks), including interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor-? (TNF-?), C-reactive protein, interleukin-6 soluble receptor and tumor necrosis factor-soluble receptor II. We determined haplogroup by restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis. Air pollutants included nitrogen oxides (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO), organic carbon, elemental and black carbon (EC, BC); and particulate matter mass, three size fractions (<0.25 µm, 0.25-2.5 µm, and 2.5-10 µm in aerodynamic diameter). Particulate matter extracts were analyzed for organic compounds, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), and in vitro oxidative potential of aqueous extracts. Associations between exposures and biomarkers, stratified by haplogroup, were analyzed by mixed-effects models.IL-6 and TNF-? were associated with traffic-related air pollutants (BC, CO, NOx and PAH), and with mass and oxidative potential of quasi-ultrafine particles <0.25 µm. These associations were stronger for haplogroup H than haplogroup U.Results suggest that mitochondrial haplogroup U is a novel protective factor for air pollution-related systemic inflammation in this small group of subjects.