Effects of 1,4-naphthoquinone aged carbon black particles on the cell membrane of human bronchial epithelium

Black carbon (BC) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are major atmospheric pollutants in China, are hazardous to humans following inhalation. BC can be oxidised by PAHs forming secondary particles of which the health effects are unknown. In this study, carbon black (CB) was used to simulate BC to reveal the adverse effects of 1,4-naphthoquinone aged carbon black (CB/1,4-NQ) particles on the membrane of human bronchial epithelial (16HBE) cells. It was showed that, the cell viability, cell membrane fluidity, membrane potential and mitochondrial membrane potential were significantly decreased after 16HBE cells were treated with CB, 1,4-NQ or CB/1,4-NQ. Meanwhile, the cell membrane permeability and intracellular Ca(2+) concentration were increased. CB/1,4-NQ could induce more adverse effects on cell membrane than single CB treated, while less than 1,4-NQ. The results indicated that CB/1,4-NQ particles in the atmosphere may cause more damage to health, and the effects on cell membrane can be used to evaluate the early health effects of the particulate matter exposure.

Authors: Zhang Y, Wang L, Feng H, Hu G, Wang L, Liu J, Gao X, Shang J, Zhu T, Tang S, Jia G. ;Full Source: Environmental Toxicology & Pharmacology. 2017 Jun 20; 54:21-27. doi: 10.1016/j.etap.2017.06.012. [Epub ahead of print] ;