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J Toxicol Environ Health A. 1998 Dec 11;55(7):455-77.

Decreased CD11b expression, phagocytosis, and oxidative burst in urban particulate pollution-exposed human monocytes and alveolar macrophages.

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA.


Elevated levels of air pollution particulates < or = 10 microm in diameter (PM10) have been associated with an increase in mortality and morbidity due to pulmonary complications, including pneumonia. Impairment of inflammatory and host defense functions of the alveolar macrophage (AM) may be a precipitating factor. The present study was undertaken to determine whether human AM and blood derived monocytes (MO) modulate the expression of receptors important for phagocytosis of opsonized microbes (CD11b, CD11c), gram-negative bacteria (CD14), extracellular matrix interaction (CD29), and immune responses (CD11a, CD54, HLA-DR) when exposed to particulates obtained from urban air (UAP). Furthermore, phagocytosis of and oxidant generation by opsonized yeast were investigated in particle-exposed cells. AM and MO exposed to UAP for 18 h expressed significantly lower levels of CD11b and CD29. CD14 expression was markedly decreased in MO but not in AM, and CD11c was reduced in AM but not in MO. CD11a, CD54, and HLA-DR were unaltered in both phagocyte populations. Decreased receptor expression was not dependent on particle load in the cells. Phagocytosis of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and the chemiluminescence response were also significantly inhibited by UAP. Time-course studies revealed that decreased oxidant generation was evident already at 3 h postexposure, while significant effects on phagocytosis and CD11b expression were found at 18 h. These data indicate that exposure to particulate pollution is likely to impair host defense functions of AM and MO, which are important in elimination of a variety of pathogens in the lung.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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