Articles online

Seasonal Variations in PM2.5-induced Oxidative Stress and Up-regulation of Pro-inflammatory Mediators

Category: Air Pollution and Health Effects

Article In Press
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2019.06.0288

Export Citation:  RIS | BibTeX

To cite this article:
Li, J., Liu, Y., An, Z., Li, W., Zeng, X., Li, H., Jiang, J., Song, J. and Wu, W. (2020). Seasonal Variations in PM2.5-induced Oxidative Stress and Up-regulation of Pro-inflammatory Mediators. Aerosol Air Qual. Res., doi: 10.4209/aaqr.2019.06.0288.

Juan Li, Yingying Liu, Zhen An, Wen Li, Xiang Zeng, Huijun Li, Jing Jiang, Jie Song, Weidong Wu

  • International Collaborative Laboratory for Air Pollution Health Effects and Intervention, School of Public Health, Xinxiang Medical University, Xinxiang, Henan 453003, China


  • PM2.5 from different seasons own distinct composition.
  • The water-soluble composition of PM2.5 showed seasonal variations.
  • PM2.5 -induced oxidative stress and subsequent production of pro-inflammatory mediators varies with season.


Inhaling particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter of ≤ 2.5 µm (PM2.5) has been demonstrated to induce season-dependent adverse health effects. As inflammation and oxidative stress play a critical role in PM2.5-induced health effects, this study used a human monocytic cell line, THP-1, to investigate whether the PM2.5-induced oxidative stress and pro-inflammatory response varied by season. PM2.5 was collected during April (spring), July (summer), September (fall) and December (winter) of 2014. The cytotoxicity was assessed with a lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release assay. The levels of pro-inflammatory mediators, including tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α) and interleukin-1β (IL-1β), were measured with ELISA, and the reactive oxygen species (ROS) were identified with flow cytometry. Sulforaphane (SFN), an antioxidant, was used to determine whether ROS regulated the PM2.5-induced expression of pro-inflammatory mediators. The PM2.5 from winter exhibited the highest potency in inducing cytotoxicity as well as the production of TNF-α and IL-1β from THP-1 cells; the same was true for ROS production. Further experiments demonstrated that pretreating THP-1 cells with SFN markedly mitigated the winter-PM2.5-induced release of TNF-α and IL-1β. Composition analysis revealed that the PM2.5 contained higher levels of anions (NO3 and SO42–) and water-soluble metals (Al, Ca, Mg, Zn and Cr) during summer and winter than spring and fall. In summary, PM2.5-induced oxidative stress and the subsequent production of pro-inflammatory mediators vary by season.


PM2.5 THP-1 cells Cytotoxicity Oxidative stress Inflammation

Related Article

Serum Neurofilament Light Polypeptide is a Biomarker for Inflammation in Cerebrospinal Fluid Caused by Fine Particulate Matter

Ta-Chih Hsiao, Jungshan Chang, Jia-Yi Wang, Dean Wu, Kai-Jen Chuang, Jen-Kun Chen, Tsun-Jen Cheng, Hsiao-Chi Chuang