Context: High-density lipoprotein (HDL) particles perform numerous vascular-protective functions. Animal studies demonstrate that exposure to fine or ultrafine particulate matter (PM) can promote HDL dysfunction. However, the impact of PM on humans remains unknown.
Objective: We aimed to determine the effect of exposure to coarse concentrated ambient particles (CAP) on several metrics of HDL function in healthy humans.
Methods: Thirty-two adults (25.9 ± 6.6 years) were exposed to coarse CAP [76.2 ± 51.5 µg·m(-3)] in a rural location and filtered air (FA) for 2 h in a randomized double-blind crossover study. Venous blood collected 2- and 20-h post-exposures was measured for HDL-mediated efflux of [(3)H]-cholesterol from cells and 20-h exposures for HDL anti-oxidant capacity by a fluorescent assay and paraoxonase activity. The changes [median (first, third quartiles)] between exposures among 29 subjects with available results were compared by matched Wilcoxon tests.
Results: HDL-mediated cholesterol efflux capacity did not differ between exposures at either time point [16.60% (15.17, 19.19) 2-h post-CAP versus 17.56% (13.43, 20.98) post-FA, p = 0.768 and 14.90% (12.47, 19.15) 20-h post-CAP versus 17.75% (13.22, 23.95) post-FA, p = 0.216]. HOI [0.26 (0.24, 0.35) versus 0.28 (0.25, 0.40), p = 0.198] and paraoxonase activity [0.54 (0.39, 0.82) versus 0.60 μmol·min(-1 )ml plasma(-1) (0.40, 0.85), p = 0.137] did not differ 20-h post-CAP versus FA, respectively.
Conclusions: Brief inhalation of coarse PM from a rural location did not acutely impair several facets of HDL functionality. Whether coarse PM derived from urban sites, fine particles or longer term PM exposures can promote HDL dysfunction warrant future investigations.