Urban air PM modifies differently immune defense responses against bacterial and viral infections in vitro
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CitationShahbaz, Muhammad Ali. Martikainen, Maria-Viola. Rönkkö, Teemu J. Komppula, Mika. Jalava, Pasi I. Roponen, Marjut. (2020). Urban air PM modifies differently immune defense responses against bacterial and viral infections in vitro. Environmental research, 192, 110244. 10.1016/j.envres.2020.110244.
Epidemiological evidence has shown the association between exposure to ambient fine particulate matter (PM) and increased susceptibility to bacterial and viral respiratory infections. However, to date, the underlying mechanisms of immunomodulatory effects of PM remain unclear. Our objective was to explore how exposure to relatively low doses of urban air PM alters innate responses to bacterial and viral stimuli in vitro. We used secondary alveolar epithelial cell line along with monocyte-derived macrophages to replicate innate lung barrier in vitro. Co-cultured cells were first exposed for 24 h to PM2.5-1 (particle aerodynamic diameter between 1 and 2.5 μm) and subsequently for an additional 24 h to lipopolysaccharide (TLR4), polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid (TLR3), and synthetic single-stranded RNA oligoribonucleotides (TLR7/8) to mimic bacterial or viral stimulation. Toxicological endpoints included pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-8, IL-6, and TNF-α), cellular metabolic activity, and cell cycle phase distribution. We show that cells exposed to PM2.5-1 produced higher levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines following stimulation with bacterial TLR4 ligand than cells exposed to PM2.5-1 or bacterial ligand alone. On the contrary, PM2.5-1 exposure reduced pro-inflammatory responses to viral ligands TLR3 and TLR7/8. Cell cycle analysis indicated that viral ligands induced cell cycle arrest at the G2-M phase. In PM-primed co-cultures, however, they failed to induce the G2-M phase arrest. Contrarily, bacterial stimulation caused a slight increase in cells in the sub-G1 phase but in PM2.5-1 primed co-cultures the effect of bacterial stimulation was masked by PM2.5-1. These findings indicate that PM2.5-1 may alter responses of immune defense differently against bacterial and viral infections. Further studies are required to explain the mechanism of immune modulation caused by PM in altering the susceptibility to respiratory infections.