Meng-Ching Chung1, Kuo-Lin Huang This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.1, Japheth L. Avelino2, Lemmuel L. Tayo2, Chih-Chung Lin This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.1,3, Ming-Hsien Tsai4, Sheng-Lun Lin5,6,7 , Wan Nurdiyana Wan Mansor8,9, Ching-Kai Su10, Sen-Ting Huang10 

1 Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, Neipu, Pingtung 91201, Taiwan
2 School of Chemical, Biological and Materials Engineering and Sciences, Mapúa University, Muralla St., Intramuros, Manila 1002, Philippines
3 Institute of Food Safety Management, College of Agriculture, National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, Pingtung 91201, Taiwan
4 Department of Child Care, National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, Neipu, Pingtung 91201, Taiwan
5 Department of Civil Engineering and Geomatics, Cheng Shiu University, Niaosong District, Kaohsiung 83347, Taiwan
6 Center for Environmental Toxin and Emerging-Contaminant Research, Cheng Shiu University, Niaosong District, Kaohsiung 83347, Taiwan
7 Super Micro Mass Research and Technology Center, Cheng Shiu University, Niaosong District, Kaohsiung 83347, Taiwan
8 Faculty of Ocean Engineering Technology & Informatics, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, 21300, Malaysia
9 Air Quality and Environment Research Group, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, 21300, K. Nerus, Malaysia
10 Department of Internal Medicine, Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital Pingtung Branch, Neipu, Pingtung 91245, Taiwan


Received: May 3, 2020
Revised: June 1, 2020
Accepted: June 3, 2020

 Copyright The Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are cited.

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Chung, M.C., Huang, K.L., Avelino, J.L., Tayo, L.L., Lin, C.C., Tsai, M.H., Lin, S.L., Mansor, W.N.W., Su, C.K. and Huang, S.T. (2020). Toxic Assessment of Heavily Traffic-related Fine Particulate Matter Using an in-vivo Wild-type Caenorhabditis elegans Model. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 20: 1974–1986.


  • Heavily TRAP PM2.5 doesn’t cause the acute toxicity in the nematodes.
  • Heavily TRAP PM2.5 inversely affects the reproductive function in the C elegans model.
  • Heavily TRAP PM2.5 severely reduces locomotion in the nematodes’ systems.
  • Heavily TRAP PM2.5 significantly shortens lifespan in the C. elegans models.


In association with the mortality rate due to air pollution, vehicular emitted fine particles (PM2.5) are a threat to public health. PM2.5-induced in-vivo studies on environmental microorganisms can be used to assess the adverse impacts of PM2.5 on human health. In the present study, the toxicity of traffic-related-air-pollutant (TRAP) PM2.5 was evaluated in the animal model Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) using different toxicological endpoints such as lethality, survivability (lifespan), behavioral (head thrashing and body bending), and reproduction (brood size). The TRAP PM2.5 sample were collected in Taichung City, Taiwan from Mar 24 to April 15 in 2018. Of these 23 day samples, three samples (Days A, B, and C) were randomly selected. The results showed that no immediate lethality was observed after acute (24 h) exposure of the nematodes. On the other hand, sublethal endpoints of reproduction exhibited statistically significant dose-dependent reduction, although Day A and Day C did not decrease the egg-laying capability of the worms. For the neurological toxicity, it is inferred that the higher the PM2.5 concentrations, the more the adverse effects of neurobehavior (head trashing and body bending) it poses on the C. elegans. The lifespans of nematodes exposed to heavily TRAP PM2.5 were significantly shortened compared with those of untreated ones based on survival rate. The nematodes exposed PM2.5 models not only posed potentially adverse health effects on human but also represented ecotoxic impacts on the ecosystem. In conclusion, heavy concentrations of TRAP PM2.5 significantly and severely disrupted toxicological endpoints of neurology and reproduction to C. elegans. TRAP PM2.5 significantly shortened the lifespan of the nematodes compared with the control. TRAP PM2.5 might more severely influenced the specific toxic endpoints, such as lifespan and neurobehavira, in this in-vivo models compared with the reproductive endpoints.

Keywords: PM2.5; Traffic related air pollutant (TRAP); C. elegans; Lifespan; Reproduction; Locomotion.

Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 20 :1974 -1986 .  

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