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Effects of Ambient PM2.5 Collected from Asian Cities Using Cyclone Technique on Human Airway Epithelial Cells

Category: Air Pollution and Health Effects

Accepted Manuscripts
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2019.01.0016

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Pratiti H. Chowdhury1, Akiko Honda 1, Sho Ito1, Hitoshi Okano1, Toshinori Onishi1,2, Makoto Higashihara1, Tomoaki Okuda3, Toshio Tanaka4, Seitarou Hirai4, Hirohisa Takano1

  • 1 Environmental Health Division, Department of Environmental Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering, Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan
  • 2 Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Kyoto 602-8566, Japan
  • 3 Department of Applied Chemistry, Faculty of Science and Technology, Keio University, Kanagawa 223-8522, Japan
  • 4 Technology and Innovation Centre, Daikin Industries, Ltd., Osaka 566-8585, Japan


  • PM2.5 collected from Japan, Thailand and Taiwan are potentially toxic in airway.
  • PAH, microbial factor, metal, and EC/OC in PM2.5 can induce inflammation.
  • Cyclone technique is advantageous to collect PM2.5 for in vitro exposure study.


Recent studies have shown that air pollution is intense and hazardous in Asia compared to other parts of the world due to late and poor implementation of updated technology in automobiles and industry, as well as high population density. Respiratory diseases, including asthma, are exacerbated by air pollution. However, effects of PM2.5 especially in Asian cities have not yet been well studied, notably on exacerbation of respiratory allergy in this continent. In this study, airway epithelial cells were exposed to crude PM2.5 particle collected by cyclone technique from three different Asian cities, namely Sakai, Bangkok, and Taipei. We compared the cytotoxicity and inflammatory potential of PM2.5 among the three cities by measuring IL-6 and IL-8 release. Samples from Sakai and Bangkok showed cytotoxic effects at a dose of 75 µg ml-1. Moreover, PM2.5 collected from Sakai and Bangkok induced IL-6 and IL-8 release even at low doses. IL-6 and IL-8 release was highly associated with fluoranthene derivatives, microbial factors (endotoxin and β-glucan), metals (Ti), and organic carbon (OC2, OC3) and elemental carbon (EC1) in PM2.5. These components of PM2.5 collected from Asian cities can contribute to cellular damage and pro-inflammatory responses in airway epithelial cells, and the effect depends on PM2.5 sources in the locations.


Crude PM2.5 Cyclone sampler Cytotoxicity Pro-inflammatory response

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