PM10

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Petr75
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Re: PM10

Post by Petr75 » Sun Aug 09, 2020 10:57 am

2020 Jul 15
Fudan University, Shanghai, China
Temporal association between particulate matter pollution and case fatality rate of COVID-19 in Wuhan
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32678728/

Abstract

The coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic reported for the first time in Wuhan, China at the end of 2019, which has caused 4648 deaths in China as of July 10, 2020. This study explored the temporal correlation between the case fatality rate (CFR) of COVID-19 and particulate matter (PM) in Wuhan. We conducted a time series analysis to examine the temporal day-by-day associations. We observed a higher CFR of COVID-19 with increasing concentrations of inhalable particulate matter (PM) with an aerodynamic diameter of 10 μm or less (PM10) and fine PM with an aerodynamic diameter of 2.5 μm or less (PM2.5) in the temporal scale. This association may affect patients with mild to severe disease progression and affect their prognosis.

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Re: PM10

Post by Petr75 » Fri Aug 21, 2020 10:20 pm

2020 Jul 16
Department of Pharmacology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Xi'an Jiaotong University Health Science Center, China
Age differences in the pulmonary and vascular pathophysiologic processes after long-term real-time exposure to particulate matter in rats
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32721691/

Abstract

Existing experimental data do not sufficiently explain which pathophysiologic processes are involved in different age of rats exposed to long-term particulate matter. This study explored the pulmonary and cardiovascular effects of long-term PM2.5 and PM10 exposure in juvenile, adult and senescent rats. Tail cuff plethysmography, whole-body plethysmographic system, myograph, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry were used to detect the blood pressure, lung function, endothelium-dependent relaxation, inflammatory cytokines and heavy metals, respectively. The exposure time was from November, 2017 to October, 2018, and the average concentrations of PM2.5 and PM10 were 78.7 and 128.2 μg/m3, respectively. Compared with the filtered air group, the body weight and survival rate in PM2.5 and PM10 exposure group were significantly decreased, and the survival rate of senescent exposed rats was only 30%. PM2.5 and PM10 exposure increased the blood pressure, elevated the levels of serum and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid inflammatory factors, and the senescent exposed rats showed an earlier rising trend in blood pressure and inflammatory factors than those of juvenile and adult exposed rats. Long-term PM2.5 and PM10 exposure could destroy intrapulmonary and small resistance arteries endothelial function, causing vasodilation disorders. PM2.5 and PM10 exposure caused particulate matter to accumulate in the lungs. Additionally, PM2.5 and PM10 exposure could also cause accumulation of cadmium (Cd) and lead in the liver, and chromium and Cd in the kidney. In conclusion, ambient PM2.5 and PM10 exposure induced particulate matter to accumulate in the body, caused severe pulmonary and vascular disorders, and demonstrated age-associated differences.

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Re: PM10

Post by Petr75 » Mon Aug 24, 2020 7:00 am

2020 Jul 28
Section of Environmental Health, Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
Long-term exposure to low levels of air pollution and mortality adjusting for road traffic noise: A Danish Nurse Cohort study
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32736159/

Abstract

Background: The association between air pollution and mortality is well established, yet some uncertainties remain: there are few studies that account for road traffic noise exposure or that consider in detail the shape of the exposure-response function for cause-specific mortality outcomes, especially at low-levels of exposure.

Objectives: We examined the association between long-term exposure to particulate matter [(PM) with a diameter of <2.5 µm (PM2.5), <10 µm (PM10)], and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and total and cause-specific mortality, accounting for road traffic noise.

Methods: We used data on 24,541 females (age > 44 years) from the Danish Nurse Cohort, who were recruited in 1993 or 1999, and linked to the Danish Causes of Death Register for follow-up on date of death and its cause, until the end of 2013. Annual mean concentrations of PM2.5, PM10, and NO2 at the participants' residences since 1990 were estimated using the Danish DEHM/UBM/AirGIS dispersion model, and annual mean road traffic noise levels (Lden) were estimated using the Nord2000 model. We examined associations between the three-year running mean of PM2.5, PM10, and NO2 with total and cause-specific mortality by using time-varying Cox Regression models, adjusting for individual characteristics and residential road traffic noise.

Results: During the study period, 3,708 nurses died: 843 from cardiovascular disease (CVD), 310 from respiratory disease (RD), and 64 from diabetes. In the fully adjusted models, including road traffic noise, we detected associations of three-year running mean of PM2.5 with total (hazard ratio; 95% confidence interval: 1.06; 1.01-1.11), CVD (1.14; 1.03-1.26), and diabetes mortality (1.41; 1.05-1.90), per interquartile range of 4.39 μg/m3. In a subset of the cohort exposed to PM2.5 < 20 µg/m3, we found even stronger association with total (1.19; 1.11-1.27), CVD (1.27; 1.01-1.46), RD (1.27; 1.00-1.60), and diabetes mortality (1.44; 0.83-2.48). We found similar associations with PM10 and none with NO2. All associations were robust to adjustment for road traffic noise.

Discussion: Long-term exposure to low-levels of PM2.5 and PM10 is associated with total mortality, and mortality from CVD, RD, and diabetes. Associations were even stronger at the PM2.5 levels below EU limit values and were independent of road traffic noise.

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Re: PM10

Post by Petr75 » Wed Aug 26, 2020 12:35 pm

2020 Aug 12
XiangYa School of Public Health, Central South University , Changsha, China
Early-life exposure to air pollution and childhood allergic diseases: an update on the link and its implications
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32741235/

..Expert opinion: Early-life exposure to outdoor air pollution and indoor environmental factors plays an important role in the development of childhood allergic diseases, and the synergy between indoor and outdoor exposures increases allergy risk. The available findings support the hypothesis of the 'fetal origins of childhood allergy,' with new implications for the effective control and early prevention of childhood allergies.

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MS
2005 Jan 15
Timing of birth and risk of multiple sclerosis: population based study
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC544426/



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MS
1953
THE ALLERGIC ASPECTS OF MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1521914/

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Re: PM10

Post by Petr75 » Mon Sep 07, 2020 10:04 am

2020 Jul 13
Laboratory of Immunology and Infectious Disease Biology, Department of Biological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Bhopal, India
Particulate matter (PM 10) enhances RNA virus infection through modulation of innate immune responses
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32771845/

Abstract

Sensing of pathogens by specialized receptors is the hallmark of the innate immunity. Innate immune response also mounts a defense response against various allergens and pollutants including particulate matter present in the atmosphere. Air pollution has been included as the top threat to global health declared by WHO which aims to cover more than three billion people against health emergencies from 2019 to 2023. Particulate matter (PM), one of the major components of air pollution, is a significant risk factor for many human diseases and its adverse effects include morbidity and premature deaths throughout the world. Several clinical and epidemiological studies have identified a key link between the PM existence and the prevalence of respiratory and inflammatory disorders. However, the underlying molecular mechanism is not well understood. Here, we investigated the influence of air pollutant, PM10 (particles with aerodynamic diameter less than 10 μm) during RNA virus infections using Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) - H5N1 virus. We thus characterized the transcriptomic profile of lung epithelial cell line, A549 treated with PM10 prior to H5N1infection, which is known to cause severe lung damage and respiratory disease. We found that PM10 enhances vulnerability (by cellular damage) and regulates virus infectivity to enhance overall pathogenic burden in the lung cells. Additionally, the transcriptomic profile highlights the connection of host factors related to various metabolic pathways and immune responses which were dysregulated during virus infection. Collectively, our findings suggest a strong link between the prevalence of respiratory illness and its association with the air quality.

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Re: PM10

Post by Petr75 » Sat Sep 12, 2020 11:12 am

2020 Aug 10
Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, New York
Associations of smoking and air pollution with peripheral blood RNA N 6-methyladenosine in the Beijing truck driver air pollution study
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32791345/

Abstract

Background: Post-transcriptional modifications of RNA constitute fundamental mechanisms of gene regulation. N6-methyladenosine (m6A) is critical for health and disease and is modulated by cellular stressors. However, associations between environmental exposures and m6A have not been studied in humans. We aimed to examine associations between tobacco smoking and particulate air pollution with m6A and mRNA expression levels of its reader, writer and eraser (RWE) genes in blood.

Methods: Using the Beijing Truck Driver Air Pollution Study, we investigated global m6A in RNA from peripheral blood collected from 106 human subjects in Beijing, China, in 2008. We measured m6A with nano-flow liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry and investigated gene expression of six m6A RWEs with real-time-quantitative PCR. Using linear models, we examined associations with smoking status, pack-years, and smoking on day of visit in men, and with environmental tobacco smoke in nonsmokers. We also examined associations with ambient PM10 (particulate matter ≤ 10 µm in diameter), and personal black carbon (BC) and PM2.5 measured with a portable monitor.

Results: Smoking in men was significantly associated with a relative 10.7% decrease in global m6A levels in comparison to nonsmokers (p = 0.02). In men, smoking greater than 3.8 pack-years was associated with a 14.9% lower m6A than in nonsmokers. BC exposure trended towards positive associations with m6A (5.95% per 10 μg/m3 increase in BC; 95% CI: -0.96, 13.3). Global m6A levels were not correlated with RWE gene expression levels. No associations were detected between smoking or air pollutants and m6A RWE gene expression.
Discussion: m6A was negatively associated with long-term smoking, yet positively associated with short-term BC exposure. These results indicate variable m6A responses to environmental stressors, providing early evidence into the impacts of toxicants on RNA modifications and suggesting potential for m6A as a biomarker or mechanism in environmental health research.

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24 October 2019
Implications of m6A modification in autoimmune disorders
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41423-019-0307-0

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Re: PM10

Post by Petr75 » Mon Sep 21, 2020 10:36 am

2020 Aug 22
Department of Occupational and Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, Peking University, Beijing, China
Association between short-term exposure to ambient particulate air pollution and biomarkers of oxidative stress: A meta-analysis
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32835677/


Abstract

Background: Exposure to ambient particulate air pollution contributes substantially to the mortality and morbidity due to cardiovascular diseases (CVD), respiratory diseases and neurodegenerative diseases. Several hypothetical mechanisms have been proposed to explain these associations, particularly oxidative stress. Malondialdehyde (MDA), 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), and Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) are typical biomarkers of oxidative stress and have been frequently investigated. However, the association between exposure to ambient particulate matter (PM) and these biomarkers has not been well established.

Objectives: Evaluate the association between ambient particulate air pollution and biomarkers of oxidative stress based on existing epidemiological studies.

Methods: A systematic literature search was conducted in databases of Science Direct, PubMed, Web of Science, and Scopus up to April 24, 2020 to summarize epidemiological studies reporting the association between exposure to ambient PM (PM2.5, PM10, or both) and biomarkers of oxidative stress, and a meta-analysis was performed for the associations reported in individual studies using a random-effect model.

Results: This meta-analysis included 23 epidemiological studies (13 identified for 8-OHdG, 11 identified for MDA and 5 identified for SOD). A 10 μg/m3 increase in short-term exposure to ambient PM2.5 was associated with pooled percent changes of 2.10% (95% CIs: -0.13%, 4.38%), 1.60% (95% CIs: 0.21%, 3.01%) and -0.61% (95% CIs: -1.92%, 0.72%) in 8-OHdG, MDA and SOD, respectively.

Conclusion: Short-term exposure to ambient PM2.5 was associated with a significantly increased level of MDA, indicating that ambient particulate air pollution may contribute to increased oxidative stress.

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Re: PM10

Post by Petr75 » Tue Sep 22, 2020 11:15 am

2020 Jun 10
CSIR-National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (CSIR-NEERI), Nehru Marg, Nagpur, Maharashtra India
Valuation of air pollution externalities: comparative assessment of economic damage and emission reduction under COVID-19 lockdown
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32837611/

Abstract

Air pollution (AP) is one of the major causes of health risks as it leads to widespread morbidity and mortality each year. Its environmental impacts include acid rains, reduced visibility, but more importantly and significantly, it affects human health. The price tag of not managing AP is seen in the rise of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cardiovascular disease, and respiratory ailments like asthma and chronic bronchitis. But as the world battles the corona pandemic, COVID-19 lockdown has abruptly halted human activity, leading to a significant reduction in AP levels. The effect of this reduction is captured by reduced cases of morbidity and mortality associated with air pollution. The current study aims to monetarily quantify the decline in health impacts due to reduced AP levels under lockdown scenario, as against business as usual, for four cities-Delhi, London, Paris, and Wuhan. The exposure assessment with respect to pollutants like particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10), NO2, and SO2 are evaluated. Value of statistical life (VSL), cost of illness (CoI), and per capita income (PCI) for disability-adjusted life years (DALY) are used to monetize the health impacts for the year 2019 and 2020, considering the respective period of COVID-19 lockdown of four cities. The preventive benefits related to reduced AP due to lockdown is evaluated in comparison to economic damage sustained by these four cities. This helps in understanding the magnitude of actual damage and brings out a more holistic picture of the damages related to lockdown.

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Re: PM10

Post by Petr75 » Fri Sep 25, 2020 8:29 am

2020 Aug 22
Department of Occupational and Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, Peking University, Beijing, China
Association between short-term exposure to ambient particulate air pollution and biomarkers of oxidative stress: A meta-analysis
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32835677/

Abstract

Background: Exposure to ambient particulate air pollution contributes substantially to the mortality and morbidity due to cardiovascular diseases (CVD), respiratory diseases and neurodegenerative diseases. Several hypothetical mechanisms have been proposed to explain these associations, particularly oxidative stress. Malondialdehyde (MDA), 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), and Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) are typical biomarkers of oxidative stress and have been frequently investigated. However, the association between exposure to ambient particulate matter (PM) and these biomarkers has not been well established.

Objectives: Evaluate the association between ambient particulate air pollution and biomarkers of oxidative stress based on existing epidemiological studies.

Methods: A systematic literature search was conducted in databases of Science Direct, PubMed, Web of Science, and Scopus up to April 24, 2020 to summarize epidemiological studies reporting the association between exposure to ambient PM (PM2.5, PM10, or both) and biomarkers of oxidative stress, and a meta-analysis was performed for the associations reported in individual studies using a random-effect model.

Results: This meta-analysis included 23 epidemiological studies (13 identified for 8-OHdG, 11 identified for MDA and 5 identified for SOD). A 10 μg/m3 increase in short-term exposure to ambient PM2.5 was associated with pooled percent changes of 2.10% (95% CIs: -0.13%, 4.38%), 1.60% (95% CIs: 0.21%, 3.01%) and -0.61% (95% CIs: -1.92%, 0.72%) in 8-OHdG, MDA and SOD, respectively.

Conclusion: Short-term exposure to ambient PM2.5 was associated with a significantly increased level of MDA, indicating that ambient particulate air pollution may contribute to increased oxidative stress.

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Re: PM10

Post by Petr75 » Wed Oct 07, 2020 9:26 am

2020 Sep 7
Multiple Sclerosis Centre, IRCCS Mondino Foundation, Pavia, Italy
PM 2.5 exposure as a risk factor for multiple sclerosis. An ecological study with a Bayesian mapping approach
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32894443/

Abstract

Some environmental factors are associated with an increased risk of multiple sclerosis (MS). Air pollution could be a main one. This study was conducted to investigate the association of particulate matter 2.5 (PM2.5) concentrations with MS prevalence in the province of Pavia, Italy. The overall MS prevalence in the province of Pavia is 169.4 per 100,000 inhabitants. Spatial ground-level PM2.5 gridded data were analysed, by municipality, for the period 2010-2016. Municipalities were grouped by tertiles according to PM2.5 concentration. Ecological regression and Bayesian statistics were used to analyse the association between PM2.5 concentrations, degree of urbanization, deprivation index and MS risk. MS risk was higher among persons living in areas with an average winter PM2.5 concentration above the European annual limit value (25 μg/m3). The Bayesian map revealed sizeable MS high-risk clusters. The study found a relationship between low MS risk and lower PM2.5 levels, strengthening the suggestion that air pollution may be one of the environmental risk factors for MS.

full https://www.researchgate.net/publicatio ... g_approach

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Re: PM10

Post by Petr75 » Sun Oct 18, 2020 7:37 pm

2020 Dec 1
Roma Tre University, Italy
Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University, France
The relationship between air pollution and COVID-19-related deaths: An application to three French cities
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32952266/

Abstract

Being heavily dependent to oil products (mainly gasoline and diesel), the French transport sector is the main emitter of Particulate Matter (PMs) whose critical levels induce harmful health effects for urban inhabitants. We selected three major French cities (Paris, Lyon, and Marseille) to investigate the relationship between the Coronavirus Disease 19 (COVID-19) outbreak and air pollution. Using Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs) experiments, we have determined the concentration of PM2.5 and PM10 linked to COVID-19-related deaths. Our focus is on the potential effects of Particulate Matter (PM) in spreading the epidemic. The underlying hypothesis is that a pre-determined particulate concentration can foster COVID-19 and make the respiratory system more susceptible to this infection. The empirical strategy used an innovative Machine Learning (ML) methodology. In particular, through the so-called cutting technique in ANNs, we found new threshold levels of PM2.5 and PM10 connected to COVID-19: 17.4 µg/m3 (PM2.5) and 29.6 µg/m3 (PM10) for Paris; 15.6 µg/m3 (PM2.5) and 20.6 µg/m3 (PM10) for Lyon; 14.3 µg/m3 (PM2.5) and 22.04 µg/m3 (PM10) for Marseille. Interestingly, all the threshold values identified by the ANNs are higher than the limits imposed by the European Parliament. Finally, a Causal Direction from Dependency (D2C) algorithm is applied to check the consistency of our findings.

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Re: PM10

Post by Petr75 » Sun Oct 18, 2020 8:37 pm

2020 Sep 21
Department of Genetic Engineering & Graduate School of Biotechnology, College of Life Sciences, Kyung Hee University, Republic of Korea
Oleanolic Acid Protects the Skin from Particulate Matter-Induced Aging
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32952129/

Abstract

The role of particulate matter (PM) in health problems including cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and pneumonia is becoming increasingly clear. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, major components of PM, bind to aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhRs) and promote the expression of CYP1A1 through the AhR pathway in keratinocytes. Activation of AhRs in skin cells is associated with cell differentiation in keratinocytes and inflammation, resulting in dermatological lesions. Oleanolic acid, a natural component of L. lucidum, also has anti-inflammation, anticancer, and antioxidant characteristics. Previously, we found that PM10 induced the AhR signaling pathway and autophagy process in keratinocytes. Here, we investigated the effects of oleanolic acid on PM10-induced skin aging. We observed that oleanolic acid inhibits PM10-induced CYP1A1 and decreases the increase of tumor necrosis factor- alpha and interleukin 6 induced by PM10. A supernatant derived from keratinocytes cotreated with oleanolic acid and PM10 inhibited the release of matrix metalloproteinase 1 in dermal fibroblasts. Also, the AhR-mediated autophagy disruption was recovered by oleanolic acid. Thus, oleanolic acid may be a potential treatment for addressing PM10-induced skin aging.

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Re: PM10

Post by Petr75 » Sat Oct 24, 2020 2:46 am

2020 Oct 1
Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
Long-Term Exposure to PM10 and in vivo Alzheimer's Disease Pathologies
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33016913/

Abstract

Background: Previous studies indicated an association between Alzheimer's disease (AD) dementia and air particulate matter (PM) with aerodynamic diameter <10μm (PM10), as well as smaller PM. Limited information, however, is available for the neuropathological links underlying such association.

Objective: This study aimed to investigate the relationship between long-term PM10 exposure and in vivo pathologies of AD using multimodal neuroimaging.

Methods: The study population consisted of 309 older adults without dementia (191 cognitively normal and 118 mild cognitive impairment individuals), who lived in Republic of Korea. Participants underwent comprehensive clinical assessments, 11C-Pittsburg compound B (PiB) positron emission tomography (PET), and magnetic resonance imaging scans. A subset of 78 participants also underwent 18F-AV-1451 tau PET evaluation. The mean concentration of PM with aerodynamic diameter <10μm over the past 5 years (PM10mean) collected from air pollution surveillance stations were matched to each participant's residence.

Results: In this non-demented study population, of which 62% were cognitively normal and 38% were in mild cognitive impairment state, exposure to the highest tertile of PM10mean was associated with increased risk of amyloid-β (Aβ) positivity (odds ratio 2.19, 95% confidence interval 1.13 to 4.26) even after controlling all potential confounders. In contrast, there was no significant associations between PM10mean exposure and tau accumulation. AD signature cortical thickness and white matter hyperintensity volume were also not associated with PM10mean exposure.

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Re: PM10

Post by Petr75 » Wed Oct 28, 2020 3:47 am

2020 Sep 15
Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, The Second Hospital of Hebei Medical University No. 215, China
Antagonism of interleukin 17 protects chronic obstructive pulmonary disease rat lungs from adverse effects of environmental PM 2.5
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33042460/

Abstract

Severe air pollution has raised concerns about the adverse effects of particulate matters 2.5 μm in size (PM2.5) on human health. However, the mechanisms elucidating how PM2.5 affects lungs, especially in COPD, remain unclear. In this study, we examined the concentration changes of environmental PM2.5 from 2013 to 2019 in Shijiazhuang city. PM2.5 was collected to study its effects on a COPD lung. Inflammatory factors present in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BLF) were examined after exposure. An antagonist of IL-17 was used to reverse PM2.5-induced pathological and functional impairments in COPD rat lungs. Our results show that the degree of air pollution changed significantly (55.873, P < 0.001) during the study period in accordance with PM tendency. PM2.5 and PM10 was present in higher concentrations from December 2013 to January 2014 and December 2016 to January 2017, respectively. After COPD rats were exposed to PM2.5 for 2 or 4 weeks, all indicators of lung function (FEV0.3, FVC, FEV0.3/FVC, PEF, Rrs) decreased continuously and significantly. The levels of TGF-β1, IL-6, IL-17, and IL-21 in BLF, as well as the expression of IL-17 in lung tissues, were significantly increased after exposure for 2 or 4 weeks. When an IL-17 antagonist was introduced following PM2.5 exposure, inflammatory factor levels in BLF and pathological scores of lung tissues decreased significantly. Moreover, lung functions were partially rescued. Collectively, our data demonstrate that IL-17 is a potential therapeutic target for COPD lungs after PM2.5 exposure.

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Re: PM10

Post by Petr75 » Fri Oct 30, 2020 8:08 am

2020 Oct 12
Laboratory of Toxicology and Environmental Health, School of Medicine, IISPV, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Catalonia, Spain
Effects of air pollution on the potential transmission and mortality of COVID-19: A preliminary case-study in Tarragona Province (Catalonia, Spain)
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33058813/

Abstract

The number of studies published on COVID-19 in recent months is certainly impressive. However, there are still important gaps to know a great number of characteristics of this disease. Among these, some potential ways of transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 and the different reasons for the severity of the disease in different people. Various studies have suggested that certain air pollutants could be increasing the transmission of the coronavirus, as well as the risks of COVID-19 incidence and mortality. In the present preliminary case-study conducted in Tarragona Province (Catalonia, Spain), we studied the potential association of COVID-19 with PM10, NO2 and O3, as well as the differences in the incidence and lethality of this disease. This Province is divided into two "health regions": Camp de Tarragona, with an important industrial complex, and Terres de l'Ebre, with a great agricultural component. In spite of the notable limitations of the current study, our preliminary findings indicate that the industrialized/urban areas of Tarragona Province show a higher incidence and mortality of COVID-19 than the agricultural/rural zones. These - and previous - results would highlight the importance of conducting specific investigations focused on directly assessing whether air pollutants such as particulate matter can act as carriers of the SARS-CoV-2. If confirmed, the recommendation on keeping the "social distance" (1.5-2 m) might need to be adapted to this situation.

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