Particulate Matter Induced Enhancement of Inflammatory Markers in the Brains of Apolipoprotein E Knockout Mice
Exposure to air particulate matter (PM) present in urban environments have been shown to induce systemic prooxidant and proinflammatory effects in apolipoprotein E knockout (ApoE-/-) mice and proinflammatory central nervous system (CNS) effects in BALB/c mice. We hypothesize that ApoE-/- mice would exhibit a greater propensity to develop PM-induced CNS effects due to their greater susceptibility to CNS inflammation. We studied the brains of ApoE-/- mice exposed in a previous study to concentrated air particles of different sizes (fine vs. ultrafine) or filtered-air to evaluate the effect of PM exposure on the development of CNS proinflammatory effects in a genetically susceptible background. This was important because, although the use of nano-sized materials opens an exciting potential for their use as diagnostic or therapeutic tools, not much is known about the possible CNS toxicity of these particles. Neuroinflammation has been shown to exacerbate progression of neurodegeneration. Since the onset and progression of idiopathic forms of neurodegenerative disorders are likely to be multifactorial and involve gene-environment interactions, we determined the possibility of particles in ambient air pollution to enhance neuroinflammation. Our results indicate that in the brain, there was significant modulation in the activation of the transcription factors NF-κB and AP-1 after exposure to the ultrafine fractions. Levels of two pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α and IL-1α) were also increased in the brain of exposed animals and this was independent of the size fraction of PM. Since inflammatory processes have been shown to contribute to the pathology associated with neurodegenerative diseases, it will be important to further evaluate the role ambient particles may play in the potentiation of existing CNS damage and progression of neurodegenerative disorders.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: August 1, 2009
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