Hypercholesterolemia potentiates aortic endothelial response to inhaled diesel exhaust. Academic Article uri icon


  • Inhalation of diesel exhaust induces vascular effects including impaired endothelial function and increased atherosclerosis.To examine the in vivo effects of subchronic diesel exhaust exposure on endothelial cell transcriptional responses in the presence of hypercholesterolemia.ApoE (-/-) and ApoE (+/+) mice inhaled diesel exhaust diluted to particulate matter levels of 300 or 1000 μg/m³ vs. filtered air. After 30 days, endothelial cells were harvested from dispersed aortic cells by fluorescent-activated cell sorting (FACS). Relative mRNA abundance was evaluated by microarray analysis to measure strain-specific transcriptional responses in mice exposed to dilute diesel exhaust vs. filtered air.Forty-nine transcripts were significantly dysregulated by >2.8-fold in the endothelium of ApoE (-/-) mice receiving diesel exhaust at 300 or 1000 μg/m³. These included transcripts with roles in plasminogen activation, endothelial permeability, inflammation, genomic stability, and atherosclerosis; similar responses were not observed in ApoE (+/+) mice.The potentiation of diesel exhaust-related endothelial gene regulation by hypercholesterolemia helps to explain air pollution-induced vascular effects in animals and humans. The observed regulated transcripts implicate pathways important in the acceleration of atherosclerosis by air pollution.

publication date

  • January 2011