Urban particulate air pollution linked to dyslipidemia by modification innate immune cells


Air particulate matter (PM) is an essential risk factor for lipid metabolism disorders. However, the underlying mechanism remains unclear. In this cross-sectional study, 216 healthcare workers were recruited to estimate the associations among the daily exposure dose (DED) of air PM, innate immune cells, and plasma lipid levels. All participants were divided into two groups according to the air particulate combined DED (DED-PMC). The peripheral white blood cell counts, lymphocyte counts, and monocyte counts and percentages were higher in the higher-exposure group (HEG) than in the lower-exposure group (LEG), whereas the percentage of natural-killer cells was lower in the HEG than in the LEG. The plasma concentrations of the total cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL-C, and apolipoprotein B were higher in the HEG than in the LEG, whereas the HDL-C and apolipoprotein A1 were lower in the HEG than in the LEG. A dose-effect analysis indicated that when the DED of the air PM increased, there were increased peripheral monocyte counts and percentages, a decreased NK cell percentage, elevated plasma concentrations of total cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL-C, and apolipoprotein B, and reduced plasma levels of HDL-C and apolipoprotein A1. In addition, the modification of the innate immune cells was accompanied by alterations in the plasma lipid levels in a dose-dependent manner. Mediation effect analysis suggested innate immune cells were the potential mediators for the associations among air PM exposure on abnormal lipid metabolism. These results indicated that chronic exposure to air PM may disturb lipid metabolism by altering the distribution of innate immune cells in the peripheral blood, ultimately advancing cardiovascular disease risk.

Authors: Shaocheng Zhang, Juan Hu, Guangjun Xiao, Shu Chen, Huanhuan Wang
; Full Source: Chemosphere 2023 Feb 3;138040. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2023.138040.