Airborne particulate matter (PM) is considered to be an important contributor to lung diseases. In the present study we report that Milan winter-PM2.5 inhibited proliferation in human bronchial epithelial cells (BEAS-2B) by inducing mitotic arrest. The cell cycle arrest was followed by an increase in mitotic-apoptotic cells, mitotic slippage and finally an increase in “classical” apoptotic cells. Exposure to winter-PM10 induced only a slight effect which may be due to the presence of PM2.5 in this fraction while pure combustion particles failed to disturb mitosis. Fewer cells expressing the mitosis marker phospho-histone H3 compared to cells with condensed chromosomes, suggest that PM2.5 induced premature mitosis. PM2.5 was internalized into the cells and often localized in laminar organelles, although particles without apparent plasma membrane covering were also seen. In PM-containing cells mitochondria and lysosomes were often damaged, and in mitotic cells fragmented chromosomes often appeared. PM2.5 induced DNA strands breaks and triggered a DNA-damage response characterized by increased phosphorylation of ATM, Chk2 and H2AX; as well as induced a marked increase in expression of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR)-regulated genes, CYP1A1, CYP1B1 and AhRR. Furthermore, some disturbance of the organization of microtubules was indicated. It is hypothesized that the induced mitotic...

Gualtieri, Maurizio; Øvrevik, Johan; Mollerup, Steen Kristen; Asare, Nana; Longhin, Eleonora; Dahlman, Hans-Jørgen; Camatini, Marina; Holme, Jørn Andreas
Mutation research 713(1-2): 18–31
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