Diesel exhaust particulate matter induces multinucleate cells and zinc transporter-dependent apoptosis in human airway cells

Margaret Leigh Ackland, Linda Zou, David Freestone, Simone Van De Waasenburg, Agnes A. Michalczyk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

The cellular effects of biodiesel emissions particulate matter (BDEP) and petroleum diesel emissions particulate matter (PDEP) were compared using a human airway cell line, A549. At concentrations of 25 μg/ml, diesel particulate matter induced the formation of multinucleate cells. In cells treated with a mixture of 80% PDEP:20% BDEP, 52% of cells were multinucleate cells compared with only 16% of cells treated with 20% PDEP:80% BDEP with a background multinucleate rate of 7%. These results demonstrate a causal relation between the formation of multinucleate cells and exposure to exhaust particulate matter, in particular diesel exhaust. Exposure of A549 cells to PDEP induced apoptosis, seen by active caspase-3 expression and the presence of cleaved pancytokeratin. PDEP exhaust was a much stronger inducer of cellular death through apoptosis than BDEP. There was an eightfold increase in the expression of SLC30A3 (zinc transporter-3 or ZnT3) in cells exposed to 80% PDEP:20% BDEP compared to untreated cells. The increase in ZnT3 expression seen in apoptotic cells following PDEP suggests a role for this zinc transporter in the apoptotic pathway, possibly through controlling zinc fluxes. As exposure to diesel exhaust particles is associated with asthma and apoptosis in airway cells, diesel exhaust particles may directly contribute to asthma by inducing epithelial cell death through apoptotic pathway.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)617-622
Number of pages6
JournalImmunology and Cell Biology
Volume85
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2007

Keywords

  • Airway epithelial cells
  • Apoptosis
  • Diesel exhaust particles
  • Zinc

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