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Special Issue "Inhalation Toxicology and Biological Response"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Toxicology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 January 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Maurizio Gualtieri
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
ENEA Centro Ricerche Bologna; Via Martiri di Monte Sole, 4; 40129 Bologna BO, Italy
Interests: PM2.5; ultrafine particles; in vitro toxicology; inflammation; oxidative damage; ALI exposure

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In the last decades, significant steps forward have been realized in the characterization of the mode of action of particulate matter (PM). Despite the information available on the toxicological effects of fine PM (PM2.5) on lung epithelial cells, there is still a significant lack of information on the effects of PM2.5 and ultrafine PM (UFP) on different tissues, first of all brain cells, and/or on exposing the in vitro models at the air liquid interface (ALI, micro cell cultures). In addition, growing interest is devoted to understanding the effects of PM and the UFP emitted by specific sources (such as diesel engines and biomass burning). Finally, interest in understanding the potential toxicological effects of indoor air pollution is gaining scientific attention in relation to the significant concentration of fine PM; UFP; and volatile organic compounds generated by specific sources, some of which include, for example, e-cigarettes and vaping cigarettes.

Papers submitted to this Special Issue must report high novelty results on the potential biological effects of PM and UFP. The identification of the molecular pathways activated by these particulates on cells that are representative of relevant target tissues is a reference topic. In addition, the application of innovative exposure systems; the use of 3D in vitro models; and the analysis of epigenetic modifications, metabolomics, and proteomics effects are also of interest, with a special emphasis on the modification, which may shed light on the mode of action of the effects fine and ultrafine particle on human health.

Dr. Maurizio Gualtieri
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Indoor and outdoor air pollution
  • Air liquid interface exposure
  • Combustion processes emission: biomass burning, vehicles emission, e-cigarette smoke, and indoor sources
  • Fine and ultrafine particulate matter
  • Inflammation
  • Oxidative stress
  • DNA damages
  • Epigenetic
  • Metabolomics
  • Proteomics

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Seasonal Variation in the Biological Effects of PM2.5 from Greater Cairo
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(20), 4970; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20204970 - 09 Oct 2019
Abstract
Greater Cairo (Egypt) is a megalopolis where the studies of the air pollution events are of extremely high relevance, for the geographical-climatological aspects, the anthropogenic emissions and the health impact. While preliminary studies on the particulate matter (PM) chemical composition in Greater Cairo [...] Read more.
Greater Cairo (Egypt) is a megalopolis where the studies of the air pollution events are of extremely high relevance, for the geographical-climatological aspects, the anthropogenic emissions and the health impact. While preliminary studies on the particulate matter (PM) chemical composition in Greater Cairo have been performed, no data are yet available on the PM’s toxicity. In this work, the in vitro toxicity of the fine PM (PM2.5) sampled in an urban area of Greater Cairo during 2017–2018 was studied. The PM2.5 samples collected during spring, summer, autumn and winter were preliminary characterized to determine the concentrations of ionic species, elements and organic PM (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons, PAHs). After particle extraction from filters, the cytotoxic and pro-inflammatory effects were evaluated in human lung A549 cells. The results showed that particles collected during the colder seasons mainly induced the xenobiotic metabolizing system and the consequent antioxidant and pro-inflammatory cytokine release responses. Biological events positively correlated to PAHs and metals representative of a combustion-derived pollution. PM2.5 from the warmer seasons displayed a direct effect on cell cycle progression, suggesting possible genotoxic effects. In conclusion, a correlation between the biological effects and PM2.5 physico-chemical properties in the area of study might be useful for planning future strategies aiming to improve air quality and lower health hazards. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Inhalation Toxicology and Biological Response)
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Open AccessArticle
In Vivo Comparative Study on Acute and Sub-acute Biological Effects Induced by Ultrafine Particles of Different Anthropogenic Sources in BALB/c Mice
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(11), 2805; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20112805 - 08 Jun 2019
Abstract
Exposure to ultrafine particles (UFPs) leads to adverse effects on health caused by an unbalanced ratio between UFPs deposition and clearance efficacy. Since air pollution toxicity is first direct to cardiorespiratory system, we compared the acute and sub-acute effects of diesel exhaust particles [...] Read more.
Exposure to ultrafine particles (UFPs) leads to adverse effects on health caused by an unbalanced ratio between UFPs deposition and clearance efficacy. Since air pollution toxicity is first direct to cardiorespiratory system, we compared the acute and sub-acute effects of diesel exhaust particles (DEP) and biomass burning-derived particles (BB) on bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid (BALf), lung and heart parenchyma. Markers of cytotoxicity, oxidative stress and inflammation were analysed in male BALB/c mice submitted to single and repeated intra-tracheal instillations of 50 μg UFPs. This in-vivo study showed the activation of inflammatory response (COX-2 and MPO) after exposure to UFPs, both in respiratory and cardiovascular systems. Exposure to DEP results also in pro- and anti-oxidant (HO-1, iNOS, Cyp1b1, Hsp70) protein levels increase, although, stress persist only in cardiac tissue under repeated instillations. Statistical correlations suggest that stress marker variation was probably due to soluble components and/or mediators translocation of from first deposition site. This mechanism, appears more important after repeated instillations, since inflammation and oxidative stress endure only in heart. In summary, chemical composition of UFPs influenced the activation of different responses mediated by their components or pro-inflammatory and pro-oxidative molecules, indicating DEP as the most damaging pollutant in the comparison. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Inhalation Toxicology and Biological Response)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Ultrafine Particles from Residential Biomass Combustion: A Review on Experimental Data and Toxicological Response
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(20), 4992; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20204992 - 09 Oct 2019
Abstract
Biomass burning is considered an important source of indoor and outdoor air pollutants worldwide. Due to competitive costs and climate change sustainability compared to fossil fuels, biomass combustion for residential heating is increasing and expected to become the major source of primary particulate [...] Read more.
Biomass burning is considered an important source of indoor and outdoor air pollutants worldwide. Due to competitive costs and climate change sustainability compared to fossil fuels, biomass combustion for residential heating is increasing and expected to become the major source of primary particulate matter emission over the next 5–15 years. The understanding of health effects and measures necessary to reduce biomass emissions of harmful compounds is mandatory to protect public health. The intent of this review is to report available data on ultrafine particles (UFPs, i.e., particles with diameter smaller than 100 nm) emitted by residential biomass combustion and their effects on human health (in vitro and in vivo studies). Indeed, as far as we know, papers focusing specifically on UFPs originating from residential biomass combustion and their impact on human health are still lacking. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Inhalation Toxicology and Biological Response)
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Open AccessReview
Oxidative Potential Versus Biological Effects: A Review on the Relevance of Cell-Free/Abiotic Assays as Predictors of Toxicity from Airborne Particulate Matter
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(19), 4772; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20194772 - 26 Sep 2019
Abstract
Background and Objectives: The oxidative potential (OP) of particulate matter (PM) in cell-free/abiotic systems have been suggested as a possible measure of their biological reactivity and a relevant exposure metric for ambient air PM in epidemiological studies. The present review examined whether [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: The oxidative potential (OP) of particulate matter (PM) in cell-free/abiotic systems have been suggested as a possible measure of their biological reactivity and a relevant exposure metric for ambient air PM in epidemiological studies. The present review examined whether the OP of particles correlate with their biological effects, to determine the relevance of these cell-free assays as predictors of particle toxicity. Methods: PubMed, Google Scholar and Web of Science databases were searched to identify relevant studies published up to May 2019. The main inclusion criteria used for the selection of studies were that they should contain (1) multiple PM types or samples, (2) assessment of oxidative potential in cell-free systems and (3) assessment of biological effects in cells, animals or humans. Results: In total, 50 independent studies were identified assessing both OP and biological effects of ambient air PM or combustion particles such as diesel exhaust and wood smoke particles: 32 in vitro or in vivo studies exploring effects in cells or animals, and 18 clinical or epidemiological studies exploring effects in humans. Of these, 29 studies assessed the association between OP and biological effects by statistical analysis: 10 studies reported that at least one OP measure was statistically significantly associated with all endpoints examined, 12 studies reported that at least one OP measure was significantly associated with at least one effect outcome, while seven studies reported no significant correlation/association between any OP measures and any biological effects. The overall assessment revealed considerable variability in reported association between individual OP assays and specific outcomes, but evidence of positive association between intracellular ROS, oxidative damage and antioxidant response in vitro, and between OP assessed by the dithiothreitol (DDT) assay and asthma/wheeze in humans. There was little support for consistent association between OP and any other outcome assessed, either due to repeated lack of statistical association, variability in reported findings or limited numbers of available studies. Conclusions: Current assays for OP in cell-free/abiotic systems appear to have limited value in predicting PM toxicity. Clarifying the underlying causes may be important for further advancement in the field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Inhalation Toxicology and Biological Response)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Deciphering the Code between Environment and Disease: The Effect of Particulate Matter on Cancer Hallmarks

Abstract: Air pollution has been recognized as global health problem, causing around 7 million deaths worldwide and representing one of the highest environmental crises that we are facing now. Near to 30% of new lung cancer cases are associated to air pollution, and the impact is more evident in major cities. In this review, we summarize and discuss the evidences regarding the effect of particulate matter and its impact in carcinogenesis, considering the “hallmarks of cancer” described by Hanahan and Weinberg as a guide to describe the findings that supports the impact of particulate matter during cancer development.

Keywords: Air pollution; particulate matter; cancer hallmarks

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