Toxicity of aged gasoline exhaust particles to normal and diseased airway epithelia

Künzi, Lisa; Krapf, Manuel; Daher, Nancy; Dommen, Josef; Jeannet, Natalie; Schneider, Sarah; Platt, Stephen; Slowik, Jay G.; Baumlin, Nathalie; Salathe, Matthias; Prévôt, André S. H.; Kalberer, Markus; Strähl, Christof; Dümbgen, Lutz; Sioutas, Constantinos; Baltensperger, Urs; Geiser, Marianne (2015). Toxicity of aged gasoline exhaust particles to normal and diseased airway epithelia. Scientific Reports, 5(11801), p. 11801. Nature Publishing Group 10.1038/srep11801

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Particulate matter (PM) pollution is a leading cause of premature death, particularly in those with pre-existing lung disease. A causative link between particle properties and adverse health effects remains unestablished mainly due to complex and variable physico-chemical PM parameters. Controlled laboratory experiments are required. Generating atmospherically realistic Aerosols and performing cell-exposure studies at relevant particle-doses are challenging. Here we examine gasoline-exhaust particle toxicity from a Euro-5 passenger car in a uniquely realistic exposure scenario, combining a smog chamber simulating atmospheric ageing, an aerosol enrichment System varying particle number concentration independent of particle chemistry, and an aerosol Deposition chamber physiologically delivering particles on air-liquid interface (ALI) cultures reproducing normal and susceptible health status. Gasoline-exhaust is an important PM source with largely unknown health effects. We investigated acute responses of fully-differentiated normal, distressed (antibiotics treated) normal, and cystic fibrosis human bronchial epithelia (HBE), and a proliferating, single-cell type bronchial epithelial cell-line (BEAS-2B). We show that a single, short-term exposure to realistic doses of atmospherically-aged gasoline-exhaust particles impairs epithelial key-defence mechanisms, rendering it more vulnerable to subsequent hazards. We establish dose-response curves at realistic particle-concentration levels. Significant differences between cell models suggest the use of fully differentiated
HBE is most appropriate in future toxicity studies.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Department of Mathematics and Statistics > Institute of Mathematical Statistics and Actuarial Science
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Anatomy > Cell Biology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Anatomy

UniBE Contributor:

Künzi, Lisa, Jeannet, Natalie, Schaller, Sarah, Strähl, Christof, Dümbgen, Lutz, Geiser, Marianne


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 360 Social problems & social services
500 Science > 510 Mathematics
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 310 Statistics
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Nature Publishing Group




Marianne Geiser Kamber

Date Deposited:

29 Jun 2015 17:24

Last Modified:

02 Mar 2023 23:26

Publisher DOI:





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