Olfactory cell cultures to investigate health effects of air pollution exposure: implications for neurodegeneration
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CitationKanninen, KM. Lampinen, R. Rantanen, LM. Odendaal, L. Jalava, P. Chew, S. White, AR. (2020). Olfactory cell cultures to investigate health effects of air pollution exposure: implications for neurodegeneration. Neurochemistry international, 136, 104729. 10.1016/j.neuint.2020.104729.
Air pollution is a major, global public health concern. A growing body of evidence shows that exposure to air pollutants may impair the brain. Living in highly polluted areas has been linked to several neurodegenerative diseases, where exposure to complex mixtures of air pollutants in urban environments may have harmful effects on brain function. These harmful effects are thought to originate from elevated inflammation and oxidative stress. The olfactory epithelium is a key entry site of air pollutants into the brain as the particles are deposited in the upper airways and the nasal region. A potential source of patient-derived cells for study of air pollutant effects is the olfactory mucosa, which constitutes a central part of the olfactory epithelium. This review first summarizes the current literature on the available in vitro models of the olfactory epithelium. It then describes how alterations of the olfactory mucosa are linked to neurodegeneration and discusses potential therapeutic applications of these cells for neurodegenerative diseases. Finally, it reviews the research performed on the effects of air pollutant exposure in cells of the olfactory epithelium. Patient-derived olfactory epithelial models hold great promise for not only elucidating the molecular and cellular pathophysiology of neurodegenerative disorders, but for providing key understanding about air pollutant particle entry and effects at this key brain entry site.