PloS one

Repeated intratracheal instillation of PM10 induces lipid reshaping in lung parenchyma and in extra-pulmonary tissues.

PMID 25259850


Adverse health effects of air pollution attributed mainly to airborne particulate matter have been well documented in the last couple of decades. Short term exposure, referring to a few hours exposure, to high ambient PM10 concentration is linked to increased hospitalization rates for cardiovascular events, typically 24 h after air pollution peaks. Particulate matter exposure is related to pulmonary and cardiovascular diseases, with increased oxidative stress and inflammatory status. Previously, we have demonstrated that repeated intratracheal instillation of PM10sum in BALB/c mice leads to respiratory tract inflammation, creating in lung a condition which could potentially evolve in a systemic toxic reaction. Additionally, plasma membrane and tissue lipids are easily affected by oxidative stress and directly correlated with inflammatory products. With this aim, in the present investigation using the same model, we analyzed the toxic potential of PM10sum exposure on lipid plasma membrane composition, lipid peroxidation and the mechanisms of cells protection in multiple organs such as lung, heart, liver and brain. Obtained results indicated that PM10 exposure led to lung lipid reshaping, in particular phospholipid and cholesterol content increases; concomitantly, the generation of oxidative stress caused lipid peroxidation. In liver we found significant changes in lipid content, mainly due to an increase of phosphatidylcholine, and in total fatty acid composition with a more pronounced level of docosahexaenoic acid; these changes were statistically correlated to lung molecular markers. Heart and brain were similarly affected; heart was significantly enriched in triglycerides in half of the PM10sum treated mice. These results demonstrated a direct involvement of PM10sum in affecting lipid metabolism and oxidative stress in peripheral tissues that might be related to the serious systemic air-pollution effects on human health.