Consistent pulmonary and systemic responses from inhalation of fine concentrated ambient particles: Roles of rat strains used and physicochemical properties

Urmila P. Kodavanti, Mette C. Schladweiler, Allen D. Ledbetter, John K. McGee, Leon Walsh, Peter S. Gilmour, Jerry W. Highfill, David Davies, Kent E Pinkerton, Judy H. Richards, Kay Crissman, Debora Andrews, Daniel L. Costa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Several studies have reported health effects of concentrated ambient particles (CAP) in rodents and humans; however, toxicity end points in rodents have provided inconsistent results. In 2000 we conducted six 1-day exposure studies where spontaneously hypertensive (SH) rats were exposed to filtered air or CAPS (≤ 2.5 μm, 1,138-1,765 μg/m3) for 4 hr (analyzed 1-3 hr afterward). In seven 2-day exposure studies in 2001, SH and Wistar Kyoto (WKY) rats were exposed to filtered air or CAP (≤ 2.5 μm, 144-2,758 μg/m3) for 4 hr/day × 2 days (analyzed 1 day afterward). Despite consistent and high CAP concentrations in rite 1-day exposure studies, no biologic effects were noted. The exposure concentrations varied among the seven 2-day exposure studies. Except in the first study when CAP concentration was highest, lavageable total cells and macrophages decreased and neutrophils increased in WKY rats. SH rats demonstrated a consistent increase of lavage fluid γ-glutamyl-transferase activity and plasma fibrinogen. Inspiratory and expiratory times increased in SH but not in WKY rats. Significant correlations were found between CAP mass (microgram per cubic meter) and sulfate, organic carbon, or zinc. No biologic effects correlated with CAP mass. Despite low chamber mass in the last six of seven 2-day exposure studies, the levels of zinc, copper, and aluminum were enriched severalfold, and organic carbon was increased to some extent when expressed per milligram of CAP. Biologic effects were evident in those six studies. These studies demonstrate a pattern of rat strain-specific pulmonary and systemic effects that are not linked to high mass but appear to be dependent on CAP chemical composition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1561-1568
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Health Perspectives
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2005


  • γ-glutamyltransferase
  • Concentrated ambient particles
  • Fibrinogen
  • Hypertensive rats
  • Lung inflammation
  • Macrophages
  • Neutrophils
  • Wistar Kyoto rats

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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