In vitro and in vivo toxicity of urban and rural particulate matter from California

Jaime E. Mirowsky, Lan Jin, George Thurston, David Lighthall, Tim Tyner, Lori Horton, Karen Galdanes, Steven Chillrud, James Ross, Kent E Pinkerton, Lung Chi Chen, Morton Lippmann, Terry Gordon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Particulate matter (PM) varies in chemical composition and mass concentration based on location, source, and particle size. This study sought to evaluate the invitro and invivo toxicity of coarse (PM10-2.5) and fine (PM2.5) PM samples collected at 5 diverse sites within California. Coarse and fine PM samples were collected simultaneously at 2 rural and 3 urban sites within California during the summer. A human pulmonary microvascular endothelial cell line (HPMEC-ST1.6R) was exposed to PM suspensions (50μg/mL) and analyzed for reactive oxygen species (ROS) after 5h of treatment. In addition, FVB/N mice were exposed by oropharyngeal aspiration to 50μg PM, and lavage fluid was collected 24h post-exposure and analyzed for total protein and %PMNs. Correlations between trace metal concentrations, endotoxin, and biological endpoints were calculated, and the effect of particle size range, locale (urban vs. rural), and location was determined. Absolute principal factor analysis was used to identify pollution sources of PM from elemental tracers of those sources. Ambient PM elicited an ROS and pro-inflammatory-related response in the cell and mouse models, respectively. These responses were dependent on particle size, locale, and location. Trace elements associated with soil and traffic markers were most strongly linked to the adverse effects invitro and invivo. Particle size, location, source, and composition of PM collected at 5 locations in California affected the ROS response in human pulmonary endothelial cells and the inflammatory response in mice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)256-262
Number of pages7
JournalAtmospheric Environment
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015


  • Aspiration exposure
  • Inflammation
  • Invitro exposure
  • Particulate matter
  • Reactive oxygen species

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science
  • Environmental Science(all)


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