Environ Pollut. 2023 Jan 9:121055. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2023.121055. Online ahead of print.
Short-term heavy air pollution still occurs frequently worldwide, especially during the winter heating period in some developing countries, which is usually accompanied by the temporary explosive growth of PM2.5. The pulmonary damage caused by PM2.5 exposure has been determined, but there have been few studies on the repair ability after the cessation of exposure and the important role of innate immune events. This study established a short-term (30 days) high-concentration (15 mg/kg body weight) PM2.5 exposure and recovery (15 days of exposure cessation) model by intratracheal instillation. The results showed that short-term PM2.5 exposure increased the content of collagen fiber in rat lung tissue, which was significantly repaired after recovery by 15 days of exposure cessation. Meanwhile, exposure to PM2.5 also caused changes in lung epithelial function, macrophage polarization and cell autophagy function. Most of these changes could be restored or reversed to a certain extent after recovery. However, there were also some biomarkers, including CLDN18.1, SP-A, SP-D, iNOS, CD206, Beclin1, p62 and LC3B, that were still significantly different between the exposure and control groups after recovery, suggesting that some toxic effects, especially epithelial function damage, were not completely repaired. In addition, there was a significant correlation between pulmonary fibrosis and innate immunity. The present study demonstrated that short-term high-concentration exposure to PM2.5 could cause temporary lung tissue damage and related innate immune events in rats, and the repair ability existed after the cessation of exposure, but part of the damage that required special attention still persisted.
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