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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013, Article ID 583513, 10 pages
Research Article

Milan PM1 Induces Adverse Effects on Mice Lungs and Cardiovascular System

1Department of Health Science, POLARIS Research Center, University of Milan-Bicocca, 48 Via Cadore, 20900 Monza, Italy
2Department of Environmental Science, POLARIS Research Center, University of Milan-Bicocca, 1 piazza della Scienza, Milan 20126, Italy

Received 23 July 2012; Revised 12 October 2012; Accepted 18 October 2012

Academic Editor: Abderrahim Nemmar

Copyright © 2013 Francesca Farina et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Recent studies have suggested a link between inhaled particulate matter (PM) exposure and increased mortality and morbidity associated with cardiorespiratory diseases. Since the response to PM1 has not yet been deeply investigated, its impact on mice lungs and cardiovascular system is here examined. A repeated exposure to Milan PM1 was performed on BALB/c mice. The bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALf) and the lung parenchyma were screened for markers of inflammation (cell counts, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α); macrophage inflammatory protein-2 (MIP-2); heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1); nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells p50 subunit (NFκB-p50); inducible nitric oxide synthetase (iNOS); endothelial-selectin (E-selectin)), cytotoxicity (lactate dehydrogenase (LDH); alkaline phosphatase (ALP); heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70); caspase-8-p18), and a putative pro-carcinogenic marker (cytochrome 1B1 (Cyp1B1)). Heart tissue was tested for HO-1, caspase-8-p18, NFκB-p50, iNOS, E-selectin, and myeloperoxidase (MPO); plasma was screened for markers of platelet activation and clot formation (soluble platelet-selectin (sP-selectin); fibrinogen; plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 (PAI-1)). PM1 triggers inflammation and cytotoxicity in lungs. A similar cytotoxic effect was observed on heart tissues, while plasma analyses suggest blood-endothelium interface activation. These data highlight the importance of lung inflammation in mediating adverse cardiovascular events following increase in ambient PM1 levels, providing evidences of a positive correlation between PM1 exposure and cardiovascular morbidity.