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Adverse biological effects of Milan urban PM looking for suitable molecular markers of exposure

Author(s): Mantecca Paride | Gualtieri Maurizio | Longhin Eleonora | Bestetti Giuseppina | Palestini Paola | Bolzacchini Ezio | Camatini Marina

Journal: Chemical Industry and Chemical Engineering Quarterly
ISSN 1451-9372

Volume: 18;
Issue: 4-2;
Start page: 635;
Date: 2012;
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Keywords: particulate matter | marker of toxicity | in vitro | in vivo

The results presented summarise the ones obtained in the coordinated research project Tosca, which extensively analysed the impact of Milan urban PM on human health. The molecular markers of exposure and effects of seasonally and size-fractionated PMs (summer and winter PM10, PM2.5) were investigated in in vitro (human lung cell lines) and in vivo (mice) systems. The results obtained by the analyses of cytotoxic, pro-inflammatory and genotoxic parameters demonstrate that the biological responses are strongly dependent upon the PM samples seasonal and dimensional variability, that ultimately reflect their chemical composition and source. In fact summer PM10, enriched in crustal elements and endotoxins, was the most cytotoxic and pro-inflammatory fraction, while fine winter PMs induced genotoxic effects and xenobiotic metabolizing enzymes (like CYP1B1) production, likely as a consequence of the higher content in combustion derived particles reach in PAHs and heavy toxic metals. These outcomes outline the need of a detailed knowledge of the PMs physico-chemical composition on a local scale, coupled with the biological hazard directly associated to PM exposure. Apparently this is the only way allowing scientists and police-makers to establish the proper relationships between the respirable PM quantity/quality and the health outcomes described by clinicians and epidemiologists.
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