The pro-inflammatory effects of particulate matter on epithelial cells are associated with elemental composition
Place of Publication
School of Medical and Health Sciences
Background: Adverse health effects of particulate matter (PM) vary with chemical composition; however, evidence regarding which elements are the most detrimental is limited. The roof space area provides an open and stable environment for outdoor PM to settle and deposit. Therefore, this study used roof space PM samples as a proxy of residential cumulative exposure to outdoor air pollution to investigate their pro-inflammatory effects on human lung cells and the contribution of the endotoxin and chemical content. Methods: Roof space PM samples of 36 different homes were collected and analysed using standardised techniques. We evaluated cytotoxicity and cytokine production of BEAS-2B cells after PM exposure using MTS and ELISA, respectively. Principle component analysis (PCA) and linear regression analyses were employed to assess the associations between cytokine production and the PM components. Results: PM caused significant time- and dose-dependent increases in cellular cytokine production (p < 0.05). PCA identified four factors that explained 68.33% of the variance in the chemical composition. An increase in Factor 1 (+Fe, +Al, +Mn) score and a decrease in Factor 2 (-Ca, +Pb, +PAH) score were associated with increased interleukin (IL)-6 (Factor 1; p = 0.010; Factor 2; p = 0.006) and IL-8 (Factor 1; p = 0.003; Factor 2; p = 0.020) production, however, only the association with Factor 1 was evident after correcting for endotoxin and particle size. Conclusions: Our study provides novel insight into the positive associations between pro-inflammatory effects of roof space PM samples with Fe, Al and Mn levels.