Fresh gasoline emissions, not paved road dust, alter cardiac repolarization in ApoE-/- mice.
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Fresh vehicular emissions potentially represent a ubiquitous environmental concern for cardiovascular health. We compared electrocardiographic effects of fresh gasoline engine emissions with resuspended paved road dust in a mouse model of coronary insufficiency. Apolipoprotein E (ApoE)-/- mice on a high fat diet were exposed by whole-body inhalation to either gasoline emissions at 60 microg/m3 particulate matter (PM), an equivalent atmosphere with particles filtered out of the whole exhaust, or paved road dust at 0.5 and 3.5 mg /m3 for 6 h/d for 3 d. Radiotelemetry recordings of electrocardiogram (ECG) were analyzed for changes in T-wave morphology (QT interval, T-wave amplitude, and T-wave Area). Following exposures, lung lavage and blood samples were obtained to assay for markers of pulmonary and systemic inflammation. No exposure induced significant changes in heart rate and only the high concentration of road dust induced signs of pulmonary inflammation. T-wave area exhibited significant deviation from baseline values during exposure to gasoline exhaust particulates, but not to either concentration of road dust or gasoline emissions sans particulates. Gasoline-exposed mice demonstrated elevated plasma endothelin-1, but did not cause systemic inflammation. These data support the hypothesis that freshly-generated engine emissions, as opposed to resuspended paved road dust, may drive cardiac effects that have been observed at road-sides in the environment. The absence of ECG effects for both very high concentrations of road dust PM and equivalent concentrations of the vapor/gas phase of gasoline engine exhaust further indicate the specific risk conferred by fresh vehicular PM.