Size-dependent biological effects on vascular endothelial cells induced by different particulate matters

  • Wen-juan Cheng (程文娟)
  • Yi Rong (荣 怿)
  • Ting-ming Shi (史廷明)
  • Ting Zhou (周 婷)
  • Yue-wei Liu (刘跃伟)
  • Wei-hong Chen (陈卫红)


The contribution of particles to cardiovascular mortality and morbidity has been enlightened by epidemiologic and experimental studies. However, adverse biological effects of the particles with different sizes on cardiovascular cells have not been well recognized. In this study, sub-cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) were exposed to increasing concentrations of pure quartz particles (DQ) of three sizes (DQPM1, <1 μm; DQPM3-5, 3-5 μm; DQPM5, 5 μm) and carbon black particles of two sizes (CB0.1, <0.1 μm; CB1, <1 μm) for 24 h. Cytotoxicity was estimated by measuring the activity of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and cell viability. Nitric oxide (NO) generation and cytokines (TNF-α and IL-1β) releases were analyzed by using NO assay and enzyme-linked immunoabsorbent assay (ELISA), respectively. It was found that both particles induced adverse biological effects on HUVECs in a dose-dependent manner. The size of particle directly influenced the biological activity. For quartz, the smaller particles induced stronger cytotoxicity and higher levels of cytokine responses than those particles of big size. For carbon black particles, CB0.1 was more capable of inducing adverse responses on HUVECs than CB1 only at lower particle concentrations, in contrast to those at higher concentrations. Meanwhile, our data also revealed that quartz particles performed stronger cell damage and produced higher levels of TNF-α than carbon black particles, even if particles size was similar. In conclusion, particle size as well as particle composition should be both considered in assessing vascular endothelial cells injury and inflammation responses induced by particles.

Key words

particles vascular endothelial cells biological effects size-dependent 


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Copyright information

© Huazhong University of Science and Technology and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wen-juan Cheng (程文娟)
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yi Rong (荣 怿)
    • 1
  • Ting-ming Shi (史廷明)
    • 3
  • Ting Zhou (周 婷)
    • 1
  • Yue-wei Liu (刘跃伟)
    • 1
  • Wei-hong Chen (陈卫红)
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, MOE Key Lab of Environment and Health, School of Public Health, Tongji Medical CollegeHuazhong University of Science and TechnologyWuhanChina
  2. 2.Nanchang Center for Disease Control and PreventionNanchangChina
  3. 3.Hubei Center for Disease Control and PreventionWuhanChina

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