Mitochondrial damage: An important mechanism of ambient PM2.5 exposure-induced acute heart injury in rats

Ruijin Li, Xiaojing Kou, Hong Geng, Jingfang Xie, Jingjing Tian, Zongwei CAI, Chuan Dong*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

124 Citations (Scopus)


Epidemiological studies suggested that ambient fine particulate matter (PM2.5) exposure was associated with cardiovascular disease. However, the underlying mechanism, especially the mitochondrial damage mechanism, of PM2.5-induced heart acute injury is still unclear. In this study, the alterations of mitochondrial morphology and mitochondrial fission/fusion gene expression, oxidative stress, calcium homeostasis and inflammation in hearts of rats exposed to PM2.5 with different dosages (0.375, 1.5, 6.0 and 24.0mg/kg body weight) were investigated. The results indicated that the PM2.5 exposure induced pathological changes and ultra-structural damage in hearts such as mitochondrial swell and cristae disorder. Furthermore, PM2.5 exposure significantly increased specific mitochondrial fission/fusion gene (Fis1, Mfn1, Mfn2, Drp1 and OPA1) expression in rat hearts. These changes were accompanied by decreases of activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), Na+K+-ATPase and Ca2+-ATPase and increases of levels of malondialdehyde (MDA), inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and nitric oxide (NO) as well as levels of pro-inflammatory mediators including TNF-α, IL-6 and IL-1β in rat hearts. The results implicate that mitochondrial damage, oxidative stress, cellular homeostasis imbalance and inflammation are potentially important mechanisms for the PM2.5-induced heart injury, and may have relations with cardiovascular disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)392-401
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Publication statusPublished - 8 Apr 2015

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

User-Defined Keywords

  • Fusion/fission
  • Inflammation
  • Oxidative stress
  • PM
  • Rat heart mitochondrial damage


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