Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 10, pp 9940–9948 | Cite as

Cooking oil fume-derived PM2.5 induces apoptosis in A549 cells and MAPK/NF-кB/STAT1 pathway activation

  • Changming Dou
  • Jie Zhang
  • Cuicui Qi
Research Article


Cooking oil fumes (COFs) are the major sources of indoor air pollution in Asia. It is well known that alveolar cells are key participants in the development of respiratory system; however, it still remains unknown whether alveolar cells are affected by COFs. Therefore, the present study investigated the effects of COFs on alveolar cells (A549 cells) and illuminated its apoptotic mechanism in response to COF-PM2.5 exposure. When A549 cells were exposed to COF-PM2.5, cell viability was substantially decreased, while the generation of ROS increased, and LDH levels and CCK-8 levels gradually changed within a dose-dependent manner. The nitrite concentration in the supernatants was augmented, while the SOD activity and GSH recycling were decreased upon COF-PM2.5. Moreover, COF-PM2.5 treatment increased mRNA levels of COX-2, inducible NO synthase, and TNF-α, and Elisa assay suggested that secretory proteins IL-6 and TNF-α were also increased. Furthermore, the Bax/Bcl-2 mRNA ratio was increased, and cleaved caspase-3 protein was activated in the A549 cells. Strikingly, COF-PM2.5 induced the phosphorylation of STAT1 at Tyr701/Ser727 and activation of NF-кB and ERK1/2, p38, and JNK of the MAPK pathway. In short, our study suggested that COF-PM2.5 resulted in inflammation, apoptosis, and cell damage in A549 cells, which might be modulated via the activation of MAPK/NF-кB/STAT1 pathway.


A549 cells COF-derived PM2.5 NF-кB MAPKs Apoptosis 


Funding information

This work was partially supported by Anhui Provincial Natural Science Fundation (No. 1208085MB26) and the Environmental Protection Public Welfare Scientific Research Project, Ministry of Environmental Protection of the People’s Republic of China (No. 201009041).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Anhui Academy of Environmental SciencesHefeiChina
  2. 2.College of MedicineNantong UniversityNantongChina
  3. 3.Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at the MicroscaleUniversity of Science & Technology of ChinaHefeiChina

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