The effects of α-pinene versus toluene-derived secondary organic aerosol exposure on the expression of markers associated with vascular disease

Inhal Toxicol. 2013 May;25(6):309-24. doi: 10.3109/08958378.2013.782080.


To investigate the toxicological effects of biogenic- versus anthropogenic-source secondary organic aerosol (SOA) on the cardiovascular system, the Secondary Particulate Health Effects Research program irradiation chamber was used to expose atherosclerotic apolipoprotein E null (Apo E-/-) mice to SOA from the oxidation of either α-pinene or toluene for 7 days. SOA atmospheres were produced to yield 250-300 μg/m(3) of particulate matter and ratios of 10:1:1 α-pinene:nitrogen oxide (NOx):ammonia (NH3); 10:1:1:1 α-pinene:NOx:NH3:sulfur dioxide (SO2) or 10:1:1 toluene:NOx:NH3; and 10:1:1:1 toluene:NOx:NH3:SO2. Resulting effects on the cardiovascular system were assessed by measurement of vascular lipid peroxidation (thiobarbituric acid reactive substance (TBARS)), as well as quantification of heme-oxygenase (HO)-1, endothelin (ET)-1, and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 mRNA expression for comparison to previous program exposure results. Consistent with similar previous studies, vascular TBARS were not increased significantly with any acute SOA exposure. However, vascular HO-1, MMP-9, and ET-1 observed in Apo E-/- mice exposed to α-pinene + NOx + NH3 + SO2 increased statistically, while α-pinene + NOx + NH3 exposure to either toluene + NOx + NH3 or toluene +NOx + NH3 + SO2 resulted in a decreased expression of these vascular factors. Such findings suggest that the specific chemistry created by the presence or absence of acidic components may be important in SOA-mediated toxicity in the cardiovascular system and/or progression of cardiovascular disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Aerosols
  • Ammonia / administration & dosage*
  • Animals
  • Aorta / metabolism
  • Apolipoproteins E / genetics
  • Bicyclic Monoterpenes
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / metabolism*
  • Endothelin-1 / genetics
  • Heme Oxygenase-1 / genetics
  • Male
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Monoterpenes / administration & dosage*
  • Nitric Oxide / administration & dosage*
  • Organic Chemicals / analysis*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances / metabolism
  • Toluene / administration & dosage*


  • Aerosols
  • Apolipoproteins E
  • Bicyclic Monoterpenes
  • Biomarkers
  • Endothelin-1
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Monoterpenes
  • Organic Chemicals
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Toluene
  • Ammonia
  • Heme Oxygenase-1
  • Hmox1 protein, mouse
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9
  • Mmp9 protein, mouse
  • alpha-pinene