Effect of PM10 on pulmonary immune response and fetus development

Eun Jung Park, Cheolho Yoon, Ji Seok Han, Gwang Hee Lee, Dong Wan Kim, Eun Jun Park, Hyun Ji Lim, Min Sung Kang, Hyoung Yun Han, Hyun Joo Seol, Kwang Pyo Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Despite numerous reports that ambient particulate matter is a key determinant for human health, toxicity data produced based on physicochemical properties of particulate matters is very lack, suggesting lack of scientific evidence for regulation. In this study, we sampled inhalable particulate matters (PM10) in northern Seoul, Korea. PM10 showed atypical- and fiber-type particles with the average size and the surface charge of 1,598.1 ± 128.7 nm and −27.5 ± 2.8, respectively, and various toxic elements were detected in the water extract. On day 90 after the first pulmonary exposure, total cell number dose-dependently increased in the lungs of both sexes of mice. PM10 induced Th1-dominant immune response with pathological changes in both sexes of mice. Meanwhile, composition of total cells and expression of proteins which functions in cell-to-cell communication showed different trends between sexes. Following, male and female mice were mated to identify effects of PM10 to the next generation. PM10 remained in the lung of dams until day 21 after birth, and the levels of IgA and IgE increased in the blood of dams exposed to the maximum dose compared to control. In addition, the interval between births of fetuses, the number of offspring, the neonatal survival rate (day 4 after birth) and the sex ratio seemed to be affected at the maximum dose, and particularly, all offspring from one dam were stillborn. In addition, expression of HIF-1α protein increased in the lung tissue of dams exposed to PM10, and level of hypoxia-related proteins was notably enhanced in PM10-exposed bronchial epithelial cells compared to control. Taken together, we suggest that inhaled PM10 may induce Th1-shifting immune response in the lung, and that it may affect reproduction (fetus development) by causing lung hypoxia. Additionally, we propose that further study is needed to identify particle-size-dependent effects on development of the next generation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalToxicology Letters
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Mar 15

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a grant from Kyung Hee University in 2018 ( 20180872 and 20182086 ). This studies described here were also supported by a grant from the GRRC program of Gyeonggi province [GRRC-kyunghee2018(B03)].

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier B.V.


  • Air pollution
  • Hypoxia
  • Interferon gamma
  • Lung inflammation
  • Particulate materials
  • Stillbirth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


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