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

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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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

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Correspondence to Anthony S. Wexler.

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Francesca Dominici performed this work while at Johns Hopkins University.

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Breysse, P.N., Delfino, R.J., Dominici, F. et al. US EPA particulate matter research centers: summary of research results for 2005–2011. Air Qual Atmos Health 6, 333–355 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11869-012-0181-8

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Keywords

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