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Clinical and Experimental Otorhinolaryngology > Epub ahead of print
doi: https://doi.org/10.21053/ceo.2023.00079    [Epub ahead of print]
Effect of Air Pollutants on Allergic Inflammation in Structural Cells of the Nasal Mucosa
Joo-Hoo Park1,2 , Jee Won Moon1,3 , Hyun-Woo Yang1,2 , Dae Jin Song4 , Il-Ho Park1,2,3
1Upper Airway Chronic Inflammatory Diseases Laboratory, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
2Medical Device Usability Test Center, Korea University Guro Hospital, Seoul, Korea
3Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
4Department of Pediatrics, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
Correspondence  Dae Jin Song ,Tel: +82-2-2626-3158, Fax: +82-2-2626-1249, Email: djsong506@korea.ac.kr
Il-Ho Park ,Tel: +82-2-2626-1298, Fax: +82-2-868-0475, Email: parkil5@korea.ac.kr
Received: December 25, 2023; Revised: February 14, 2024   Accepted: March 13, 2024.  Published online: March 14, 2024.
*Joo-Hoo Park and Jee Won Moon contributed equally to this work.
. Air pollution is an increasing global concern, and its effect on allergic inflammation has attracted the attention of many researchers. Particulate matter (PM) is a major component of ambient air pollution, and heavy metals are the primary toxic constituents of PM. As previous studies on the impact of air pollutants on allergic inflammation did not adequately mimic real-world atmospheric exposure, we developed an experimental model to investigate the effects of aerosolized air pollutants on nasal epithelial cells and fibroblasts.
. We collected particulate matter 2.5 (PM2.5) samples from ambient 24-hour air samples obtained in Seoul from August 2020 to August 2022, and then conducted component analysis for metallic constituents. Primary nasal epithelial cells and nasal fibroblasts, obtained and cultured from the turbinate tissues of human participants, were treated with PM2.5. The associations of heavy metals identified from the component analysis with cytokine expression were investigated. A three-dimensional (3D)-hybrid culture model, consisting of co-culture of an air-liquid interface and nasal fibroblast spheroids, was constructed to observe the impact of aerosolized air pollutants.
. Among the heavy metals, Si was the predominant component of PM2.5, and Zn showed the highest correlation with the concentration of PM2.5 in Seoul. PM2.5, Zn, and Si increased the production of epithelial cell-derived cytokines, and PM2.5 and Zn exhibited similar trends with one another. Exposure of the 3D-hybrid model to aerosolized PM2.5 and Zn resulted in elevated periostin, alpha-smooth muscle actin, and fibronectin expression in fibroblast spheroids, and those without an epithelial barrier exhibited a similar increase in periostin expression.
. Ambient air pollutants in the form of aerosols increase the expression of allergic inflammatory cytokines in both nasal epithelial cells and fibroblasts. Regulations on air pollution will help reduce the global burden of allergic diseases in the future.
Keywords: Allergic Rhinitis; Air Pollution; Particulate Matter; Epithelial Cell; Fibroblasts
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