Chem Res Toxicol. 2022 Sep 6. doi: 10.1021/acs.chemrestox.2c00183. Online ahead of print.
Wood burning contributes to indoor and ambient particulate matter (PM) pollution and has been associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Here, we present an integrated methodology that allows to generate, sample, and characterize wood smoke derived from different moisture contents and representative combustion conditions using pine wood as a model. Flaming, smoldering, and incomplete combustion were assessed for low-moisture pine, whereas both low-moisture pine and high-moisture pine were investigated under flaming conditions. Real-time monitoring of carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, and aerosol number concentration/size in wood smoke was performed. The PM was size-fractionated, sampled, and characterized for elemental/organic carbon, organic functional groups, and inorganic elements. Bioactivity of PM was assessed by measuring the sterile alpha motif (SAM) pointed domain containing ETS (E-twenty-six) transcription factor (SPDEF) gene promoter activity in human embryonic kidney 293 (HEK-293T) cells, a biomarker for mucin gene expression. Findings showed that moisture content and combustion condition significantly affected the organic and inorganic elemental composition of PM0.1 as well as its bioactivity. Also, for a given moisture and combustion scenario, PM chemistry and bioactivity differed considerably with PM size. Importantly, PM0.1 from flaming combustion of low-moisture pine contained the highest abundance of the oxygenated saturated aliphatic functional group [H-C-O] and was also biologically most potent in stimulating SPDEF promoter activity, suggesting the role of organic compounds such as carbohydrates and sugar alcohols (that contain [H-C-O]) in driving mucus-related respiratory outcomes. Our platform enables further well-controlled parametric studies using a combination of in vitro and in vivo approaches to link wood burning parameters with acute and chronic inhalation health effects of wood smoke.
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