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J Alzheimers Dis. 2018;62(2):503-522. doi: 10.3233/JAD-170857.

Ozone Atmospheric Pollution and Alzheimer's Disease: From Epidemiological Facts to Molecular Mechanisms.

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Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, INSERM, CNRS, Lyon Neuroscience Research Center, Lyon, France.
Hospices Civils de Lyon, CERMEP-Imaging Platform, Bron, France.


Atmospheric pollution is a well-known environmental hazard, especially in developing countries where millions of people are exposed to airborne pollutant levels above safety standards. Accordingly, several epidemiological and animal studies confirmed its role in respiratory and cardiovascular pathologies and identified a strong link between ambient air pollution exposure and adverse health outcomes such as hospitalization and mortality. More recently, the potential deleterious effect of air pollution inhalation on the central nervous system was also investigated and mounting evidence supports a link between air pollution exposure and neurodegenerative pathologies, especially Alzheimer's disease (AD). The focus of this review is to highlight the possible link between ozone air pollution exposure and AD incidence. This review's approach will go from observational and epidemiological facts to the proposal of molecular mechanisms. First, epidemiological and postmortem human study data concerning residents of ozone-severely polluted megacities will be presented and discussed. Then, the more particular role of ozone air pollution in AD pathology will be described and evidenced by toxicological studies in rat or mouse with ozone pollution exposure only. The experimental paradigms used to reproduce in rodent the human exposure to ozone air pollution will be described. Finally, current insights into the molecular mechanisms through which ozone inhalation can affect the brain and play a role in AD development or progression will be recapitulated.


Alzheimer’s disease; atmospheric pollution; neuroinflammation; oxidative stress; ozone

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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