Diesel-derived PM2.5 induces impairment of cardiac movement followed by mitochondria dysfunction in cardiomyocytes

Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2022 Sep 28:13:999475. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2022.999475. eCollection 2022.


Particulate matter (PM) in polluted air can be exposed to the human body through inhalation, ingestion, and skin contact, accumulating in various organs throughout the body. Organ accumulation of PM is a growing health concern, particularly in the cardiovascular system. PM emissions are formed in the air by solid particles, liquid droplets, and fuel - particularly diesel - combustion. PM2.5 (size < 2.5 μm particle) is a major risk factor for approximately 200,000 premature deaths annually caused by air pollution. This study assessed the deleterious effects of diesel-derived PM2.5 exposure in HL-1 mouse cardiomyocyte cell lines. The PM2.5-induced biological changes, including ultrastructure, intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, viability, and intracellular ATP levels, were analyzed. Moreover, we analyzed changes in transcriptomics using RNA sequencing and metabolomics using gas chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS) and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) in PM2.5-treated HL-1 cells. Ultrastructural analysis using transmission electron microscopy revealed disruption of mitochondrial cristae structures in a PM2.5 dose-dependent manner. The elevation of ROS levels and reduction in cell viability and ATP levels were similarly observed in a PM2.5 dose-dependently. In addition, 6,005 genes were differentially expressed (fold change cut-off ± 4) from a total of 45,777 identified genes, and 20 amino acids (AAs) were differentially expressed (fold change cut-off ± 1.2) from a total of 28 identified AAs profiles. Using bioinformatic analysis with ingenuity pathway analysis (IPA) software, we found that the changes in the transcriptome and metabolome are highly related to changes in biological functions, including homeostasis of Ca2+, depolarization of mitochondria, the function of mitochondria, synthesis of ATP, and cardiomyopathy. Moreover, an integrated single omics network was constructed by combining the transcriptome and the metabolome. In silico prediction analysis with IPA predicted that upregulation of mitochondria depolarization, ROS generation, cardiomyopathy, suppression of Ca2+ homeostasis, mitochondrial function, and ATP synthesis occurred in PM2.5-treated HL-1 cells. In particular, the cardiac movement of HL-1 was significantly reduced after PM2.5 treatment. In conclusion, our results assessed the harmful effects of PM2.5 on mitochondrial function and analyzed the biological changes related to cardiac movement, which is potentially associated with cardiovascular diseases.

Keywords: cardiomyocytes; diesel particulate matter; integrated omics; metabolomics; mitochondria; transcriptomics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphate / analysis
  • Adenosine Triphosphate / metabolism
  • Adenosine Triphosphate / pharmacology
  • Air Pollutants* / analysis
  • Air Pollutants* / toxicity
  • Amino Acids / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Chromatography, Liquid
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / metabolism
  • Particulate Matter* / analysis
  • Particulate Matter* / toxicity
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry


  • Air Pollutants
  • Amino Acids
  • Particulate Matter
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Adenosine Triphosphate