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Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2008 Oct 1;178(7):721-8. doi: 10.1164/rccm.200803-436OC. Epub 2008 Jul 2.

Chronic exposure to ambient levels of urban particles affects mouse lung development.

Author information

1
Department of Pathology, Sao Paulo University Medical School, São Paulo, SP, Brazil. tmauad@usp.br

Abstract

RATIONALE:

Chronic exposure to air pollution has been associated with adverse effects on children's lung growth.

OBJECTIVES:

We analyzed the effects of chronic exposure to urban levels of particulate matter (PM) on selected phases of mouse lung development.

METHODS:

The exposure occurred in two open-top chambers (filtered and nonfiltered) placed 20 m from a street with heavy traffic in São Paulo, 24 hours/day for 8 months. There was a significant reduction of the levels of PM(2.5) inside the filtered chamber (filtered = 2.9 +/- 3.0 microg/m(3), nonfiltered = 16.8 +/- 8.3 microg/m(3); P = 0.001). At this exposure site, vehicular sources are the major components of PM(2.5) (PM <or= 2.5 microm). Exposure of the parental generation in the two chambers occurred from the 10th to the 120th days of life. After mating and birth of offspring, a crossover of mothers and pups occurred within the chambers, resulting in four groups of pups: nonexposed, prenatal, postnatal, and pre+postnatal. Offspring were killed at the age of 15 (n = 42) and 90 (n = 35) days; lungs were analyzed by morphometry for surface to volume ratio (as an estimator of alveolization). Pressure-volume curves were performed in the older groups, using a 20-ml plethysmograph.

MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS:

Mice exposed to PM(2.5) pre+postnatally presented a smaller surface to volume ratio when compared with nonexposed animals (P = 0.036). The pre+postnatal group presented reduced inspiratory and expiratory volumes at higher levels of transpulmonary pressure (P = 0.001). There were no differences among prenatal and postnatal exposure and nonexposed animals.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our data provide anatomical and functional support to the concept that chronic exposure to urban PM affects lung growth.

PMID:
18596224
PMCID:
PMC2556454
DOI:
10.1164/rccm.200803-436OC
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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