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Aerobiologia

Characterization of protein expression of Platanus pollen following exposure to gaseous pollutants and vehicle exhaust particles.


PMID 25110385

Abstract

Being major ornamental street trees, species of Platanus are widely planted in the Shanghai urban area. A great deal of allergenic Platanus pollen is released from the trees and suspended in the atmosphere during its flowering season, ultimately causing allergic respiratory diseases. Few papers have focused on the distribution of this type of pollen and its expression of allergenic proteins. In order to investigate any differences in protein expression in Platanus pollen following exposure to gaseous and particulate pollutants, a special apparatus was designed. Exposure condition (such as temperature, humidity, and exposure time) of Platanus pollen and gaseous pollutants can be simulated using of this apparatus. Fresh Platanus orientalis pollen, pollutant gases (NO2, SO2, NH3), and typical urban ambient particles (vehicle exhaust particles, VEPs) were mixed in this device to examine possible changes that might occur in ambient airborne urban pollen following exposure to such pollutants. Our results showed that the fresh P. orientalis pollen became swollen, and new kinds of particles could be found on the surface of the pollen grains after exposure to the pollutants. The results of SDS-PAGE showed that five protein bands with molecular weights of 17-19, 34, 61, 82, and 144xa0kDa, respectively, were detected and gray scale of these brands increased after the pollen exposure to gaseous pollutants. The two-dimensional gel electrophoresis analysis demonstrated that a Platanus pollen allergenic protein (Pla a1, with a molecular weight of 18xa0kDa) increased in abundance following exposure to pollutant gases and VEPs, implying that air pollutants may exacerbate the allergenicity of pollen.