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Air Quality, Atmosphere & Health

, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 333–355 | Cite as

US EPA particulate matter research centers: summary of research results for 2005–2011

  • Patrick N. Breysse
  • Ralph J. Delfino
  • Francesca Dominici
  • Alison C. P. Elder
  • Mark W. Frampton
  • John R. Froines
  • Alison S. Geyh
  • John J. Godleski
  • Diane R. Gold
  • Philip K. Hopke
  • Petros Koutrakis
  • Ning Li
  • Günter Oberdörster
  • Kent E. Pinkerton
  • Jonathan M. Samet
  • Mark J. Utell
  • Anthony S. WexlerEmail author
Article

Abstract

The US Environmental Protection Agency funded five academic research centers in 2005 to address uncertainties in the health effects caused by airborne particulate matter (PM) as suggested by the 1998 National Research Council report, “Research Priorities for Airborne Particulate Matter.” The centers employed multidisciplinary teams of epidemiologists, toxicologists, atmospheric scientists, engineers, and chemists to approach four key research themes: susceptibility to PM, biological mechanisms of PM response, exposure–response relationships, and source linkages. This review presents selected accomplishments in these categories from the past 5-year period. Publications from the centers are summarized to provide both an overview of the accomplishments to date and easy reference to much of the original literature published by the centers. Numerous investigators worked together within and across centers to investigate the relationships between atmospheric PM and health effects, including (a) the role of reactive oxygen species, inflammation, the nervous system, and the cardiovascular system, (b) particle characteristics such as size, composition, source, and temporal pattern of exposure, and (c) phenotypic and genotypic characteristics of the population that influence the level of exposure and risk in response to a given exposure.

Keywords

Air pollution Particulate matter Exposure Susceptibility Source–health relationships Acute effects Chronic effects Biological mechanisms Epidemiological associations 

Abbreviations

AHR

Airway hyperresponsiveness

Al

Aluminum

APOE

Apolipoprotein E

As

Arsenic

BAL

B aggressive lymphoma

BC

Black carbon (preferred over EC, elemental carbon)

BMI

Body mass index

BP

Blood pressure

Br

Bromine

BW

Body weight

CAPs

Concentrated ambient particles

CI

Confidence interval

CNS

Central nervous system

CO

Carbon monoxide

COPD

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

COX

Cyclooxygenase

CPZ

Capsazepine

Cr

Chromium

CRP

C-reactive protein

Cu

Copper

DC

Dendritic cell

DCFH-DA

Dichlorofluorescein diacetate

DEP

Diesel exhaust particulates

DPF

Diesel particulate filters

DTT

Dithiothreitol [assay]

EC

Endothelial cell

ECG

Electrocardiogram

eNO

Exhaled nitric oxide

EUK-134

chloro[[2,2′-[1,2-ethanediylbis[(nitrilo-κN)methylidyne]]bis[6-methoxyphenolato-κO]]]-manganese (not spelled out in the text)

GSTM1

Glutathione S-transferase M1

HBEpCs

Human bronchial epithelial cells

HDL

High-density lipoprotein

HF

High frequency

HFE

Hemochromatosis [gene]

HMEC

Human microvascular endothelial cell

HMOX-1

Heme oxygenase-1

HR

Heart rate

HRV

Heart rate variability

Hsp27

Heat shock protein 27

ICAM-1

Intercellular adhesion molecule-1

IL

Interleukin [IL-4, IL-5, IL-6]

LA

Los Angeles

LF

Low frequency

LINE

Long interspersed nucleotide element [as in LINE-1]

LPL

Lipoprotein lipase

LPS

Lipopolysaccharide

MAP

Mitogen-activated protein [kinase]

MESA Air

Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis and Air Pollution

MI

Myocardial infarction

Mn

Manganese

Na

Sodium

NAC

N-acetylcysteine

NAS

Normative Aging Study

Ni

Nickel

NO2

Nitrogen dioxide

NQO-1

NADPH quinone oxidoreductase-1

OC

Organic carbon

OVA

Ovalbumin

ox-PAPC

Oxidized 1-palmitoyl-2-arachidonyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphorylcholine

PAH

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon

Pb

Lead

PM

Particulate matter

PM0.25

Particulate matter <0.25 μm in diameter

PM10

Particulate matter <10 μm in diameter

PM2.5

Particulate matter <2.5 μm in diameter

PN

Particle number

QTc

QT interval [in ECG]

ROS

Reactive oxygen species

S

Sulfur

SAA

Serum amyloid A

sCD40L

Soluble CD40 ligand [protein]

SDNN

Standard deviation of normal-to-normal

Si

Silicon

sICAM-1

Soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1

siRNA

Small interfering RNA

SNP

Single nucleotide polymorphism

SOD1

Superoxide dismutase 1

ST

Isoelectric period [in ECG plot]

sVCAM-1

Soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule-1

SVOC

Semivolatile organic compound

TBARS

Thiobarbituric acid reactive substances assay

TERESA

Toxicological Evaluation of Realistic Emissions Source Aerosols

TNF-α

Tumor necrosis factor-α

TRPV1

Vanilloid receptor 1

UFP

Ultrafine particle

V

Vanadium

VA NAS

Department of Veterans Affairs Normative Aging Study

VCAM-1

Vascular cell adhesion molecule-1

VEGF

Vascular endothelial growth factor

vWF

von Willebrand factor

Zn

Zinc

Notes

Acknowledgments

This review is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Alison Geyh. The authors would like to acknowledge the substantial contributions of Drs. Michelle Bell, Jack Harkema, Mike Kleinman, Bruce Urch, Annette Peters, and Alexandria Schneider.

Grant information

Although the research described in the article has been funded wholly or in part by the US EPA, it has not been subject to the agency’s required peer and policy review and, therefore, does not necessarily reflect the views of the agency and no official endorsement should be inferred.

Conflict of interest

No competing financial interests on the part of the authors have been identified.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrick N. Breysse
    • 1
  • Ralph J. Delfino
    • 2
  • Francesca Dominici
    • 5
  • Alison C. P. Elder
    • 3
  • Mark W. Frampton
    • 3
  • John R. Froines
    • 4
  • Alison S. Geyh
    • 1
  • John J. Godleski
    • 5
  • Diane R. Gold
    • 5
  • Philip K. Hopke
    • 6
  • Petros Koutrakis
    • 5
  • Ning Li
    • 4
  • Günter Oberdörster
    • 3
  • Kent E. Pinkerton
    • 7
  • Jonathan M. Samet
    • 8
  • Mark J. Utell
    • 3
  • Anthony S. Wexler
    • 7
    • 9
    Email author
  1. 1.Johns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.University of California, IrvineIrvineUSA
  3. 3.University of RochesterRochesterUSA
  4. 4.University of California, Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  5. 5.Harvard UniversityCambridgeUSA
  6. 6.Clarkson UniversityPotsdamUSA
  7. 7.University of California, DavisDavisUSA
  8. 8.University of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  9. 9.Air Quality Research CenterUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA

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