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Dangerous Air: How air pollution affects astrocyte functions

Kälin, RE, Cai, L, Li, Y, Zhang, H, Cheng, J, Zhang, W, Wu, Y, Eisenhut, K, Janssen, P, Schmitt, L, Enard, W, Michels, M, Flüh, C, Hou, M, Kirchleitner, SV, Siller, S, Schiemann, M, Andrä, I, Montanez, E, Giachino, C, Taylor, V, Synowitz, M, Tonn, J, von Baumgarten, L, Schulz, C, Hellmann, I and Glass, R (2021) Dangerous Air: How air pollution affects astrocyte functions. GLIA, 69 (SUPPL ). ISSN 10981136


Outdoor air pollution is the largest environmental risk factor that has been associated with cardiovascular, lung, and lately also neurodegenerative diseases. A few studies have been conducted to demonstrate that air pollutant exposure may lead to neuroinflammation, oxidative stress and the appearance of protein aggregates in the brain. It was shown that air pollution can cause not only peripheral effects, but airborne particles can also enter the brain directly through olfactory nerve road or enter the blood circulation. Therefore, there is an unmet need for understanding how different brain cell types are involved in this pathological process. In this study, we aim to decipher how size-segregated urban particulate matter (PM) that was collected from urban air in Nanjing, China affects astrocytes and their functions and to investigate genes that could be targeted to mitigate the adverse effect of PM exposure. Our results demonstrate that both ultrafine (particles with an aerodynamic diameter of 0.1 μm or less) and coarse (size 2.5-10 μm) particles trigger activation of antioxidative stress signalling genes in vitro in astrocytes harvested from the adult mouse brain, indicating activation of the cellular protection system in response to PM. Such robust effects were not observed in primary cortical neurons exposed to the same conditions, indicating the predominant role of glial cell responses to adverse effects of air pollution in the brain. We also detected reduced ApoE expression in both adult and neonatal PM-treated astrocytes in response to PM exposure. These results provide insight into astrocyte responses to air pollutant exposure.

Item Type: Article
Date Deposited: 16 Sep 2021 00:45
Last Modified: 16 Sep 2021 00:45


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