Morin Protects Human Respiratory Cells from PM 2.5 Induced Genotoxicity by Mitigating ROS and Reverting Altered miRNA Expression

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 Jul 5;16(13):2389. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16132389.


Chronic fine particulate matter (PM2.5) exposure causes oxidative stress and leads to many diseases in human like respiratory and cardiovascular disorders, and lung cancer. It is known that toxic responses elicited by PM2.5 particles depend on its physical and chemical characteristics that are greatly influenced by the source. Dietary polyphenolic compounds that possess antioxidant and free radical scavenging properties could be used for therapeutic or preventive approaches against air pollution related health hazards. This study evaluates characteristics and toxicity of PM2.5 collected from rural, urban, industrial, and traffic regions in and around Coimbatore City, Tamilnadu, India. Traffic PM2.5 particles contained higher amounts of metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). It also possessed higher levels of oxidative potential, induced more intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS), and caused more levels of cell death and DNA damage in human respiratory cells. Its exposure up regulated DNA damage response related miR222, miR210, miR101, miR34a, and miR93 and MycN and suppressed Rad52. Pre-treatment with morin significantly decreased the PM2.5 induced toxicity and conferred protection against PM2.5 induced altered miRNA expression. Results of this study showed that cytoprotective effect of morin is due to its antioxidative and free radical scavenging activity.

Keywords: Particulate matter; comet assay; cytotoxicity; genotoxicity; miRNA; morin; oxidative stress.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • A549 Cells
  • Air Pollutants / classification
  • Air Pollutants / toxicity*
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • India
  • MicroRNAs / genetics
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism*
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology
  • Particulate Matter / classification
  • Particulate Matter / toxicity*
  • Protective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism


  • Air Pollutants
  • Antioxidants
  • Flavonoids
  • MicroRNAs
  • Particulate Matter
  • Protective Agents
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • morin