Incomplete combustion produces a pollutant mixture that includes polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Previous work by the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health (CCCEH) and others linked exposure to PAH with symptoms of asthma and other adverse health effects in young children. Inhaled β2-adrenergic agonists are mainstays in the treatment of reactive airway diseases. These exogenous catecholamines engage membrane-bound β2-adrenergic receptors (β2AR) on airway epithelial and smooth muscle cells to cause airway dilation. We hypothesized that exposure to PAH might similarly interfere with the function of β2AR in airway epithelial or smooth muscle cells, reducing the efficacy of a medication important for the treatment of asthma symptoms. A PAH mixture was devised, based on ambient levels measured prenatally among a cohort of pregnant women participating at the CCCEH. Primary airway epithelial and smooth muscle cells were exposed to varying concentrations of the PAH mixture, and expression, function, and signaling of β2AR were assessed. Murine tracheal epithelial cells and human airway smooth muscle cells, after exposure to a PAH mixture, exhibited reduced expression and function of β2AR. These findings support our hypothesis that environmentally relevant PAHs can impede β2AR-mediated airway relaxation, and suggest a new paradigm where air pollutants not only contribute to the pathogenesis of childhood asthma, but also diminish responsiveness to standard therapy.
polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons; β2-adrenergic receptors
Rationale: To determine vascular signaling pathways involved in inhaled air pollution (vehicular engine emission) exposure–induced exacerbation of atherosclerosis that are associated with onset of clinical cardiovascular events.
Objectives: To elucidate the role of oxidized low-density lipoprotein (oxLDL) and its primary receptor on endothelial cells, the lectin-like oxLDL receptor (LOX-1), in regulation of endothelin-1 expression and matrix metalloproteinase activity associated with inhalational exposure to vehicular engine emissions.
Methods: Atherosclerotic apolipoprotein E knockout mice were exposed by inhalation to filtered air or mixed whole engine emissions (250 μg particulate matter [PM]/m3 diesel + 50 μg PM/m3 gasoline exhausts) 6 h/d for 7 days. Concurrently, mice were treated with either mouse IgG or neutralizing antibodies to LOX-1 every other day. Vascular and plasma markers of oxidative stress and expression proatherogenic factors were assessed. In a parallel study, healthy human subjects were exposed to either 100 μg PM/m3 diesel whole exhaust or high-efficiency particulate air and charcoal-filtered “clean” air (control subjects) for 2 hours, on separate occasions.
Measurements and Main Results: Mixed emissions exposure increased oxLDL and vascular reactive oxygen species, as well as LOX-1, matrix metalloproteinase-9, and endothelin-1 mRNA expression and also monocyte/macrophage infiltration, each of which was attenuated with LOX-1 antibody treatment. In a parallel study, diesel exhaust exposure in volunteer human subjects induced significant increases in plasma-soluble LOX-1.
Conclusions: These findings demonstrate that acute exposure to vehicular source pollutants results in up-regulation of vascular factors associated with progression of atherosclerosis, endothelin-1, and matrix metalloproteinase-9, mediated through oxLDL–LOX-1 receptor signaling, which may serve as a novel target for future therapy.
atherosclerosis; particulate matter; endothelin-1; matrix metalloproteinase; oxidized low-density lipoprotein
Our previous studies have characterized the inflammatory response of intratracheally instilled lipopolysaccharides (LPS) in F344/N rats. To better reflect the environmentally relevant form of LPS exposure, the present study evaluated the inflammatory response of F344/N rats exposed to LPS by inhalation. Rats were exposed by nose-only inhalation to aerosolized LPS at a median particle diameter of 1 μm and a dose range from 0.08 to 480 μg. Animals were sacrificed 72 h post exposure and the inflammatory cell counts and differentials, the cytokine/chemokine levels in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF), and the changes in intraepithelial stored mucosubstances, mucous cells per mm basal lamina, and Bcl-2-positive mucous cells were quantified. We observed a dose-dependent increase reaching maximum values at the 75μg LPS dose for the numbers of neutrophils, macrophages and lymphocytes, for the levels of IL-6, IL-1α, IL-1β, TNFα, MCP-1 and GRO-KC. In addition, mucous cell metaplasia and the percentage of Bcl-2-positive mucous cells were increased with increasing deposited LPS dose. When rats were treated with the phosphodiesterase-4 (PDE4) inhibitor, rolipram (10 mg/kg), prior to exposure to aerosolized LPS neutrophil numbers in the BAL were reduced at 8 h but not at 24 or 72 h post LPS exposure. These results demonstrate that exposure to aerosolized LPS resulted in a more potent inflammatory response at lower doses and that inflammation was more uniformly distributed throughout the lung compared to inflammation caused by intratracheal LPS instillation. Therefore, this animal model will be useful for screening efficacy of anti-inflammatory drugs.
pulmonary inflammation; airway epithelial hyperplasia; mucous cell metaplasia; apoptosis; phosphodiesterase inhibitor
Epidemiological studies have associated traffic-related airborne pollution with adverse cardiovascular outcomes. Nitric oxide (NO) is a common component of fresh diesel and gasoline engine emissions that rapidly transforms both in the atmosphere and once inhaled. Because of this rapid transformation, limited information is available in terms of potential human exposures and adverse health effects. Young rats were exposed to whole diesel emissions (DE) adjusted to 300 µg/m3 of particulate matter (containing 3.5 ppm NO) or 0, 3, or 10 ppm NO as a positive control. Animals were also pre-injected (i.p.) with either saline or n-acetyl-cysteine (NAC), a precursor of glutathione. Predictably, pure NO exposures led to a concentration-dependent increase in plasma nitrates compared to controls, which lasted for roughly 4 hr post-exposure. Whole DE exposure for 1 hr also led to a doubling of plasma NOx. NAC injection increased the levels of plasma nitrates and nitrites (NOx) in the DE exposure group. Inhibition of NOS by L-NNA did not block the rise in plasma NOx, demonstrating that the increase was entirely due to exogenous sources. Both DE and pure NO exposures paradoxically led to elevated eNOS expression in aortic tissue. Furthermore, coronary arterioles from NO-exposed animals exhibited greater constriction to endothelin-1 compared to controls, consistent with a derangement of the NOS system. Thus, NO may be an important contributor to traffic-related cardiovascular morbidity although further research is necessary for proper hazard identification.
Nitric Oxide; air pollution; cardiovascular; diesel exhaust; eNOS; n-acetyl-cysteine
Sulfur mustard (SM) is a chemical threat agent for which its effects have no current treatment. Due to the ease of synthesis and dispersal of this material, the need to develop therapeutics is evident. The present manuscript details the techniques used to develop SM laboratory exposure systems for the development of animal models of pulmonary injury. These models are critical for evaluating SM injury and developing therapeutics against that injury. Iterative trials were conducted to optimize a lung injury model. The resulting pathology was used as a guide, with a goal of effecting homogeneous and diffuse lung injury comparable to that of human injury. Inhalation exposures were conducted by either nose-only inhalation or intubated inhalation. The exposures were conducted to either directly vaporized SM or SM that was nebulized from an ethanol solution. Inhalation of SM by nose-only inhalation resulted in severe nasal epithelial degeneration and minimal lung injury. The reactivity of SM did not permit it to transit past the upper airways to promote lower airway injury. Intratracheal inhalation of SM vapors at a concentration of 5400 mg · min/m3 resulted in homogeneous lung injury with no nasal degeneration.
Aerosol; Inhalation; Rodents; Sulfur Mustard
Background: The composition of diesel engine exhaust (DEE) varies by engine type and condition, fuel, engine operation, and exhaust after treatment such as particle traps. DEE has been shown to increase inflammation, susceptibility to infection, and cardiovascular responses in experimentally exposed rodents and humans. Engines used in these studies have been operated at idle, at different steady-state loads, or on variable-load cycles, but exposures are often reported only as the mass concentration of particulate matter (PM), and the effects of different engine loads and the resulting differences in DEE composition are unknown.
Objectives: We assessed the impacts of load-related differences in DEE composition on models of inflammation, susceptibility to infection, and cardiovascular toxicity.
Methods: We assessed inflammation and susceptibility to viral infection in C57BL/6 mice and cardiovascular toxicity in APOE–/– mice after being exposed to DEE generated from a single-cylinder diesel generator operated at partial or full load.
Results: At the same PM mass concentration, partial load resulted in higher proportions of particle organic carbon content and a smaller particle size than did high load. Vapor-phase hydrocarbon content was greater at partial load. Compared with high-load DEE, partial-load DEE caused greater responses in heart rate and T-wave morphology, in terms of both magnitude and rapidity of onset of effects, consistent with previous findings that systemic effects may be driven largely by the gas phase of the exposure atmospheres. However, high-load DEE caused more lung inflammation and greater susceptibility to viral infection than did partial load.
Conclusions: Differences in engine load, as well as other operating variables, are important determinants of the type and magnitude of responses to inhaled DEE. PM mass concentration alone is not a sufficient basis for comparing or combining results from studies using DEE generated under different conditions.
diesel exhaust; modeling; mouse; particulate matter; viral
Yersinia pestis, the agent of plague, is considered a potential bioweapon due to rapid lethality when delivered as an aerosol. Levofloxacin was tested for primary pneumonic plague treatment in a nonhuman primate model mimicking human disease.
Methods and Results
Twenty-four African Green monkeys (AGMs, Chlorocebus aethiops) were challenged via head-only aerosol inhalation with 3–145 (mean = 65) 50% lethal (LD50) doses of Y. pestis strain CO92. Telemetered body temperature >39°C initiated intravenous infusions to seven 5% dextrose controls or 17 levofloxacin treated animals. Levofloxacin was administered as a “humanized” dose regimen of alternating 8 mg/kg and 2 mg/kg 30-min infusions every 24-h, continuing until animal death or 20 total infusions, followed by 14 days of observation. Fever appeared at 53–165 h and radiographs found multilobar pneumonia in all exposed animals. All control animals died of severe pneumonic plague within five days of aerosol exposure. All 16 animals infused with levofloxacin for 10 days survived. Levofloxacin treatment abolished bacteremia within 24 h in animals with confirmed pre-infusion bacteremia, and reduced tachypnea and leukocytosis but not fever during the first 2 days of infusions.
Levofloxacin cures established pneumonic plague when treatment is initiated after the onset of fever in the lethal aerosol-challenged AGM nonhuman primate model, and can be considered for treatment of other forms of plague. Levofloxacin may also be considered for primary presumptive-use, multi-agent antibiotic in bioterrorism events prior to identification of the pathogen.
Yersinia pestis is the causative agent of bubonic plague as well as a rare severe form known as primary pneumonic plague resulting from the inhalation of contaminated aerosols. The relative ease of aerosol preparation and high virulence makes Y. pestis a dangerous bioweapon. The current study describes the treatment of established pneumonic plague with the widely available, broad-spectrum fluoroquinolone antibiotic levofloxacin in a nonhuman primate model. African green monkeys inhaled a target dose of 100 lethal doses for 50% of animals (LD50) and were monitored for fever and vital signs by telemetry. Fever was the first sign of illness, correlating with bacteremia but preceding radiographic pneumonia, and initiated intravenous levofloxacin treatment in doses designed to mimic antibiotic levels achieved in humans. All animals treated with saline died and all animals completing 10 days of treatment survived, with resolution of high fever within 24–48 hours. We conclude that levofloxacin may be an appropriate broad-spectrum antibiotic for presumptive therapy in an aerosolized bioweapons attack and should be studied for treatment of bubonic plague.
Recent epidemiological studies suggest that traffic-related air pollution may have detrimental effects on cardiovascular health. Previous studies reveal that gasoline emissions can induce several enzyme pathways involved in the formation and development of atherosclerotic plaques. As a direct comparison, the present study examined the impact of diesel engine emissions on these pathways, and further examined the effects on vascular lesion pathology. Apolipoprotein E-null mice were simultaneously placed on a high fat chow diet and exposed to four concentrations, plus a high concentration exposure with particulates (PM) removed by filtration, of diesel emissions for 6 h/d for 50 days. Aortas were subsequently assayed for alteration in matrix metalloproteinase-9, endothelin-1, and several other biomarkers. Diesel induced dose-related alterations in gene markers of vascular remodeling and aortic lipid peroxidation; filtration of PM did not significantly alter these vascular responses, indicating that the gaseous portion of the exhaust was a principal driver. Immunohistochemical analysis of aortic leaflet sections revealed no net increase in lesion area, but a significant decrease in lipid-rich regions and increasing trends in macrophage accumulation and collagen content, suggesting that plaques were advanced to a more fragile, potentially more vulnerable state by diesel exhaust exposure. Combined with previous studies, these results indicate that whole emissions from mobile sources may have a significant role in promoting chronic vascular disease.
Particulate Matter; Vascular Inflammation; Air Pollution; Inhalation
In these studies the immunotoxicity of arsenic trioxide (ATO, As2O3) was evaluated in mice following 14 days of inhalation exposures (nose only, 3 hrs per day) at concentrations of 50 μg/m3 and 1 mg/m3. A biodistribution analysis performed immediately after inhalation exposures revealed highest levels of arsenic in the kidneys, bladder, liver, and lung. Spleen cell levels were comparable to those found in the blood, with the highest concentration of arsenic detected in the spleen being 150 μg/mg tissue following the 1 mg/m3 exposures. No spleen cell cytotoxicity was observed at either of the two exposure levels. There were no changes in spleen cell surface marker expression for B cells, T cells, macrophages, and natural killer (NK) cells. There were also no changes detected in the B cell (LPS-stimulated) and T cell (Con A-stimulated) proliferative responses of spleen cells, and no changes were found in the NK-mediated lysis of Yac-1 target cells. The primary T-dependent antibody response was, however, found to be highly susceptible to ATO suppression. Both the 50 μg/m3 and 1 mg/m3 exposures produced greater than 70% suppression of the humoral immune response to sheep red blood cells. Thus, the primary finding of this study is that the T-dependent humoral immune response is extremely sensitive to suppression by ATO and assessment of humoral immune responses should be considered in evaluating the health effects of arsenic containing agents.
Particulate matter less than 10 μm (PM10) has been shown to be associated with aggravation of asthma and respiratory and cardiopulmonary morbidity. There is also great interest in the potential health effects of PM 2.5. Particulate matter (PM) varies in composition both spatially and temporally depending on the source, location and seasonal condition. El Paso County which lies in the Paso del Norte airshed is a unique location to study ambient air pollution due to three major points: the geological land formation, the relatively large population and the various sources of PM. In this study, dichotomous filters were collected from various sites in El Paso County every seven days for a period of one year. The sampling sites were both distant and near border crossings, which are near heavily populated areas with high traffic volume. Fine (PM2.5) and Coarse (PM10-2.5) PM filter samples were extracted using dichloromethane and were assessed for biologic activity and polycyclic aromatic (PAH) content. Three sets of marker genes human BEAS2B bronchial epithelial cells were utilized to assess the effects of airborne PAHs on biologic activities associated with specific biological pathways associated with airway diseases. These pathways included in inflammatory cytokine production (IL-6, IL-8), oxidative stress (HMOX-1, NQO-1, ALDH3A1, AKR1C1), and aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR)-dependent signaling (CYP1A1). Results demonstrated interesting temporal and spatial patterns of gene induction for all pathways, particularly those associated with oxidative stress, and significant differences in the PAHs detected in the PM10-2.5 and PM 2.5 fractions. Temporally, the greatest effects on gene induction were observed in winter months, which appeared to correlate with inversions that are common in the air basin. Spatially, the greatest gene expression increases were seen in extracts collected from the central most areas of El Paso which are also closest to highways and border crossings.
asthma; lung oxidative stress; PM; polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons; border air samples
Emerging evidence suggests that the systemic vasculature may be a target of inhaled pollutants of vehicular origin. We have identified several murine markers of vascular toxicity that appear sensitive to inhalation exposures to combustion emissions.
We sought to examine the relative impact of various pollutant atmospheres and specific individual components on these markers of altered vascular transcription and lipid peroxidation.
Apolipoprotein E knockout (ApoE−/−) mice were exposed to whole combustion emissions (gasoline, diesel, coal, hardwood), biogenically derived secondary organic aerosols (SOAs), or prominent combustion-source gases [nitric oxide (NO), NO2, carbon monoxide (CO)] for 6 hr/day for 7 days. Aortas were assayed for transcriptional alterations of endothelin-1 (ET-1), matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9), tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-2 (TIMP-2), and heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), along with measures of vascular lipid peroxides (LPOs) and gelatinase activity.
We noted transcriptional alterations with exposures to gasoline and diesel emissions. Interestingly, ET-1 and MMP-9 transcriptional effects could be recreated by exposure to CO and NO, but not NO2 or SOAs. Gelatinase activity aligned with levels of volatile hydrocarbons and also monoxide gases. Neither gases nor particles induced vascular LPO despite potent effects from whole vehicular emissions.
In this head-to-head comparison of the effects of several pollutants and pollutant mixtures, we found an important contribution to vascular toxicity from readily bioavailable monoxide gases and possibly from volatile hydrocarbons. These data support a role for traffic-related pollutants in driving cardiopulmonary morbidity and mortality.
atherosclerosis; carbon monoxide; cardiovascular; lipid peroxidation; nitric oxide; particulate matter; vascular remodeling; zymography
Brevetoxins are potent neurotoxins produced by the marine dinoflagellate, Karenia brevis. Exposure to brevetoxins may occur during a K. brevis red tide when the compounds become aerosolized by wind and surf. This study assesses possible adverse health effects associated with short-term inhalation exposure to brevetoxin 3. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to 500 µg brevetoxin 3/m3 by nose-only inhalation for 0.5 or 2 hr/day for 5 consecutive days. Control rats were sham exposed for 2 hr to vehicle. Calculated deposited brevetoxin doses were 8.3 and 33 µg/kg/day for the low- and high-dose groups, respectively. At the termination of exposures, only body weights of the high-dose group (Group B) were significantly below control values. By immunohistochemistry (IHC), small numbers of splenic and peribronchiolar lymphoid tissue macrophages stained positive for brevetoxin, while nasal mucosa, liver, and brain were IHC negative for brevetoxin. No gross or microscopic lesions were observed in any tissue examined. There was no biochemical evidence of cytotoxicity or inflammation in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. Alveolar macrophages showed some evidence of activation following brevetoxin exposure. Humoral-mediated immunity was suppressed in brevetoxin-exposed rats as indicated by a 70% reduction in splenic plaque forming cells in brevetoxin-exposed animals compared to controls. Results suggest that the immune system may be a target of toxicity following brevetoxin inhalation. Future studies will focus on identification of a no-effect level and mechanisms underlying brevetoxin-induced immune suppression.
Red tides in the Gulf of Mexico are formed by blooms of the dinoflagellate Karenia brevis, which produces brevetoxins (PbTx). Brevetoxins can be transferred from water to air in the wind-powered whitecapped waves during red tide episodes. Inhalation exposure to marine aerosol containing PbTx causes respiratory problems. A liquid chromatograph/ tandem mass spectrometric method was developed for the detection and quantitation of several PbTxs in ambient samples collected during red tide events. This method was complemented by a previously developed antibody assay that analyzes the entire class of PbTx compounds. The method showed good linearity, accuracy, and reproducibility, allowing quantitation of PbTx compounds in the 10 pg/m3 range. Air concentrations of PbTxs and brevenal for individual samples ranged from 0.01 to 80 ng/m3. The particle size showed a single mode with a mass median diameter between 6 and 10 μm, which was consistent for all of the PbTx species that were measured. Our results imply that individual PbTxs were from the same marine aerosol or from marine aerosol that was produced from the same process. The particle size indicated the likelihood of high deposition efficiency in the respiratory tract with the majority of aerosol deposited in the upper airways and small but not insignificant deposition in the lower airways.
Exposure to air pollution and, more specifically, particulate matter (PM) is associated with adverse health effects. However, the specific PM characteristics responsible for biological effects have not been defined.
In this project we examined the composition, sources, and relative toxicity of samples of PM with aerodynamic diameter ≥2.5 μm (PM2.5) collected from sites within the Southeastern Aerosol Research and Characterization (SEARCH) air monitoring network during two seasons. These sites represent four areas with differing sources of PM2.5, including local urban versus regional sources, urban areas with different contributions of transportation and industrial sources, and a site influenced by Gulf of Mexico weather patterns.
We collected samples from each site during the winter and summer of 2004 for toxicity testing and for chemical analysis and chemical mass balance–based source apportionment. We also collected PM2.5 downwind of a series of prescribed forest burns. We assessed the toxicity of the samples by instillation into rat lungs and assessed general toxicity, acute cytotoxicity, and inflammation. Statistical dose–response modeling techniques were used to rank the relative toxicity and compare the seasonal differences at each site. Projection-to-latent-surfaces (PLS) techniques examined the relationships among sources, chemical composition, and toxicologic end points.
Results and conclusions
Urban sites with high contributions from vehicles and industry were most toxic.
chemical mass balance; intratracheal instillation; in vivo; lung; particulate matter; PM2.5; projection to latent surfaces; source apportionment
Brevetoxins are potent neurotoxins produced by the marine dinoflagellate Karenia brevis. Exposure to brevetoxins may occur during a K. brevis red tide when the compounds become aerosolized by wind and surf. This study assessed possible adverse health effects associated with inhalation exposure to brevetoxin 3, one of the major brevetoxins produced by K. brevis and present in aerosols collected along beaches affected by red tide. Male F344 rats were exposed to brevetoxin 3 at 0, 37, and 237 μg/m3 by nose-only inhalation 2 hr/day, 5 days/week for up to 22 exposure days. Estimated deposited brevetoxin 3 doses were 0.9 and 5.8 μg/kg/day for the low-and high-dose groups, respectively. Body weights of the high-dose group were significantly below control values. There were no clinical signs of toxicity. Terminal body weights of both low- and high-dose-group rats were significantly below control values. Minimal alveolar macrophage hyperplasia was observed in three of six and six of six of the low- and high-dose groups, respectively. No histopathologic lesions were observed in the nose, brain, liver, or bone marrow of any group. Reticulocyte numbers in whole blood were significantly increased in the high-dose group, and mean corpuscular volume showed a significant decreasing trend with increasing exposure concentration. Humoral-mediated immunity was suppressed in brevetoxin-exposed rats as indicated by significant reduction in splenic plaque-forming cells in both low- and high-dose-group rats compared with controls. Results indicate that the immune system is the primary target for toxicity in rats after repeated inhalation exposure to relatively high concentrations of brevetoxins.
brevetoxin; immunotoxicity; inhalation; neurotoxicity; rats
In this study we investigated the statistical relationship between particle and semivolatile organic chemical constituents in gasoline and diesel vehicle exhaust samples, and toxicity as measured by inflammation and tissue damage in rat lungs and mutagenicity in bacteria. Exhaust samples were collected from “normal” and “high-emitting” gasoline and diesel light-duty vehicles. We employed a combination of principal component analysis (PCA) and partial least-squares regression (PLS; also known as projection to latent structures) to evaluate the relationships between chemical composition of vehicle exhaust and toxicity. The PLS analysis revealed the chemical constituents covarying most strongly with toxicity and produced models predicting the relative toxicity of the samples with good accuracy. The specific nitro-polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons important for mutagenicity were the same chemicals that have been implicated by decades of bioassay-directed fractionation. These chemicals were not related to lung toxicity, which was associated with organic carbon and select organic compounds that are present in lubricating oil. The results demonstrate the utility of the PCA/PLS approach for evaluating composition–response relationships in complex mixture exposures and also provide a starting point for confirming causality and determining the mechanisms of the lung effects.
diesel exhaust; gasoline exhaust; hopane; mutagenicity; PAHs; particulate matter health effects; principal component analysis; semivolatile organic carbon; sterane; toxicity of motor vehicle emissions
In this study we compared a “baseline” condition of uncontrolled diesel engine exhaust (DEE) emissions generated with current (circa 2003) certification fuel to an emissions-reduction (ER) case with low sulfur fuel and a catalyzed particle trap. Lung toxicity assessments (resistance to respiratory viral infection, lung inflammation, and oxidative stress) were performed on mice (C57Bl/6) exposed by inhalation (6 hr/day for 7 days). The engine was operated identically (same engine load) in both cases, and the inhalation exposures were conducted at the same exhaust dilution rate. For baseline DEE, this dilution resulted in a particle mass (PM) concentration of approximately 200 μg/m3 PM, whereas the ER reduced the PM and almost every other measured constituent [except nitrogen oxides (NOx)] to near background levels in the exposure atmospheres. These measurements included PM, PM size distribution, PM composition (carbon, ions, elements), NOx, carbon monoxide, speciated/total volatile hydrocarbons, and several classes of semi-volatile organic compounds. After exposure concluded, one group of mice was immediately sacrificed and assessed for inflammation and oxidative stress in lung homogenate. Another group of mice were intratracheally instilled with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and RSV lung clearance and inflammation was assessed 4 days later. Baseline DEE produced statistically significant biological effects for all measured parameters. The use of low sulfur fuel and a catalyzed trap either completely or nearly eliminated the effects.
diesel exhaust; emissions reduction; health effects; metals; organic carbon; particulate matter health effects
In this study, we determined the biologic activity of dichloromethane-extracted particulate matter < 10 micro m in aerodynamic diameter (PM10) obtained from filters at three sites in the Paso del Norte airshed, which includes El Paso, Texas, USA; Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico, and Sunland Park, New Mexico, USA. The extracts were rich in polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and had significant biologic activity, measured using two in vitro assay systems: ethoxyresorufin-(O-deethylase (EROD) induction and the aryl hydrocarbon-receptor luciferase reporter system. In most cases, both EROD (5.25 pmol/min/mg protein) and luciferase activities (994 relative light units/mg) were highest in extracts from the Advance site located in an industrial neighborhood in Juarez. These values represented 58% and 55%, respectively, of induction associated with 1 micro M ss-naphthoflavone exposures. In contrast, little activity was observed at the Northeast Clinic site in El Paso, the reference site. In most cases, luciferase and EROD activity from extracts collected from the Tillman Health Center site, situated in downtown El Paso, fell between those observed at the other two sites. Overall, a statistically significant correlation existed between PM10 and EROD and luciferase activities. Chemical analysis of extracts collected from the Advance site demonstrated that concentrations of most PAHs were higher than those reported in most other metropolitan areas in the United States. Calculations made with these data suggest a cancer risk of 5-12 cases per 100,000 people. This risk estimate, as well as comparisons with the work of other investigators, raises concern regarding the potential for adverse health effects to the residents of this airshed. Further work is needed to understand the sources, exposure, and effects of PM10 and particulate organic material in the Paso del Norte airshed.