Subchronic Air Pollution Exposure Increases Highly Palatable Food Intake, Modulates Caloric Efficiency and Induces Lipoperoxidation

Inhal Toxicol. Aug-Aug 2018;30(9-10):370-380. doi: 10.1080/08958378.2018.1530317. Epub 2018 Nov 2.


The investigation of the relationship between air pollution and obesity has captured the interest of researchers. However, the mechanism regarding the association between air pollution exposure and metabolic diseases and obesity still remains unclear. We aimed to investigate the effects of subchronic ROFA exposure on consumption and preference for highly palatable food and its interference on biochemical, lipid and oxidative stress parameters in rats. Male Wistar rats were divided in groups: control, ROFA, chocolate and ROFA + chocolate. Rats were exposed to ROFA during 18 weeks and to palatable food in the last 30 days. Food consumption, caloric intake and caloric efficiency, body mass gain, abdominal fat deposition, glucose and lipid profile were measured. Thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS), catalase (CAT) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity were assessed in lungs, heart, pancreas and hypothalamus. Chocolate intake was higher in the first and second weeks in rats exposed to ROFA while the standard chow intake was smaller in second and third weeks. The amount of kilocalories derived from chocolate was higher in the animals exposed to ROFA in all weeks. The caloric intake and body mass gain were not different among groups. Triglycerides, total cholesterol and HDL were higher in chocolate exposed rats. The TBARS was higher in lung and heart in ROFA group and in hypothalamus in ROFA + chocolate group. There were no significant differences in glucose, LDL and antioxidant enzymes. These findings indicate that subcronic air pollution exposure can modulate metabolic effects of subacute exposure to chocolate in adulthood.

Keywords: Air pollution; ROFA; antioxidants; highly palatable food; oxidative stress; particulate matter.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollution / adverse effects*
  • Animals
  • Body Weight
  • Catalase / metabolism
  • Chocolate
  • Coal Ash / adverse effects
  • Eating*
  • Energy Intake*
  • Food Preferences
  • Heart
  • Lipid Peroxidation*
  • Lipids / blood
  • Lung
  • Male
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances / metabolism
  • Weight Gain


  • Coal Ash
  • Lipids
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances
  • Catalase
  • Superoxide Dismutase