Environmental Fine Particulate Matter (PM 2.5) Activates the RAW 264.7 Macrophage Cell Line even at Very Low Concentrations as Revealed by

Maria Teresa Santini, Gabriella Rainaldi, Antonella Ferrante, Rocco Romano, Stefania Clemente, Andrea Motta, Barbara De Berardis, Maria Balduzzi, Luigi Paoletti, Pietro Luigi Indovina

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Because of the association between inhalation of airborne particulate matter (PM) and human respiratory and cardiovascular disease, it is necessary to understand the tissue damage induced by these particles. One of the cell types principally involved in the body's reaction to PM are macrophages, which remove particles in the airway passages and the lungs through phagocytosis. In fact, when macrophages are exposed to a toxic agent such as PM, they undergo a series of changes (including variations in morphology, an increase in glycolysis, and consequent lactate production and the release of cytokines such as interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor-α) necessary to transform them from "resting" to "activated" macrophages. Because1H NMR is extremely useful in monitoring, noninvasively, macrophage metabolism and because this technique has never been utilized to examine macrophage activation after exposure to PM, it was the purpose of the present study to investigate the effects of PM exposure on the RAW 264.7 stabilized macrophage cell line using1H NMR spectroscopy. PM with a diameter <2.5 μm (PM 2.5) was utilized because a closer association to mortality and adverse respiratory health effects has been found with this fraction than with particles of a larger size. Measurements were conducted on whole cells at both 500 and 700 MHz as well as on perchloric acid extracts at 700 MHz. Significant variations in numerous metabolites were seen at very low concentrations of PM 2.5. Many of these changes point to activation of RAW 264. 7 macrophages even at doses of PM 2.5 much lower than those commonly employed in cell studies. These results are particularly significant since the same concentrations of PM did not induce changes in morphology and release of cytokines in these cells. Therefore,1H NMR spectroscopy is an extremely sensitive probe in observing subtle variations in macrophages after exposure to PM 2.5.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63 - 74
Number of pages12
JournalChemical Research in Toxicology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2004
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Toxicology

Cite this

Santini, M. T., Rainaldi, G., Ferrante, A., Romano, R., Clemente, S., Motta, A., De Berardis, B., Balduzzi, M., Paoletti, L., & Indovina, P. L. (2004). Environmental Fine Particulate Matter (PM 2.5) Activates the RAW 264.7 Macrophage Cell Line even at Very Low Concentrations as Revealed by. Chemical Research in Toxicology, 17(1), 63 - 74. https://doi.org/10.1021/tx034118f