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Human exposure to diesel exhaust induces CYP1A1 expression and AhR activation without a coordinated antioxidant response
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine.
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2023 (English)In: Particle and Fibre Toxicology, E-ISSN 1743-8977, Vol. 20, no 1, article id 47Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Diesel exhaust (DE) induces neutrophilia and lymphocytosis in experimentally exposed humans. These responses occur in parallel to nuclear migration of NF-κB and c-Jun, activation of mitogen activated protein kinases and increased production of inflammatory mediators. There remains uncertainty regarding the impact of DE on endogenous antioxidant and xenobiotic defences, mediated by nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) and the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) respectively, and the extent to which cellular antioxidant adaptations protect against the adverse effects of DE.

Methods: Using immunohistochemistry we investigated the nuclear localization of Nrf2 and AhR in the epithelium of endobronchial mucosal biopsies from healthy subjects six-hours post exposure to DE (PM10, 300 µg/m3) versus post-filtered air in a randomized double blind study, as a marker of activation. Cytoplasmic expression of cytochrome P450s, family 1, subfamily A, polypeptide 1 (CYP1A1) and subfamily B, Polypeptide 1 (CYP1B1) were examined to confirm AhR activation; with the expression of aldo–keto reductases (AKR1A1, AKR1C1 and AKR1C3), epoxide hydrolase and NAD(P)H dehydrogenase quinone 1 (NQO1) also quantified. Inflammatory and oxidative stress markers were examined to contextualize the responses observed.

Results: DE exposure caused an influx of neutrophils to the bronchial airway surface (p = 0.013), as well as increased bronchial submucosal neutrophil (p < 0.001), lymphocyte (p = 0.007) and mast cell (p = 0.002) numbers. In addition, DE exposure enhanced the nuclear translocation of the AhR and increased the CYP1A1 expression in the bronchial epithelium (p = 0.001 and p = 0.028, respectively). Nuclear translocation of AhR was also increased in the submucosal leukocytes (p < 0.001). Epithelial nuclear AhR expression was negatively associated with bronchial submucosal CD3 numbers post DE (r = −0.706, p = 0.002). In contrast, DE did not increase nuclear translocation of Nrf2 and was associated with decreased NQO1 in bronchial epithelial cells (p = 0.02), without affecting CYP1B1, aldo–keto reductases, or epoxide hydrolase protein expression.

Conclusion: These in vivo human data confirm earlier cell and animal-based observations of the induction of the AhR and CYP1A1 by diesel exhaust. The induction of phase I xenobiotic response occurred in the absence of the induction of antioxidant or phase II xenobiotic defences at the investigated time point 6 h post-exposures. This suggests DE-associated compounds, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), may induce acute inflammation and alter detoxification enzymes without concomitant protective cellular adaptations in human airways.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BioMed Central (BMC), 2023. Vol. 20, no 1, article id 47
Keywords [en]
Aryl hydrocarbon receptor, Diesel exhaust, Immunohistochemistry, Oxidative stress, Xenobiotic metabolism
National Category
Pharmacology and Toxicology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-218128DOI: 10.1186/s12989-023-00559-1PubMedID: 38062420Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85178874563OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-218128DiVA, id: diva2:1819969
Funder
Västerbotten County CouncilSwedish Heart Lung FoundationUmeå UniversityAvailable from: 2023-12-15 Created: 2023-12-15 Last updated: 2023-12-15Bibliographically approved

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Friberg, MariaBehndig, Annelie F.Muala, AlaBlomberg, AndersSandström, ThomasPourazar, Jamshid

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