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The concentration of iron in real-world geogenic PM10 is associated with increased inflammation and deficits in lung function in mice

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posted on 2023-05-18, 04:26 authored by Graeme ZoskyGraeme Zosky, Iosifidis, T, Perks, K, Ditcham, WGF, Devadason, SG, Siah, WS, Devine, B, Maley, F, Cook, A

Background: There are many communities around the world that are exposed to high levels of particulate matter <10 µm (PM10) of geogenic (earth derived) origin. Mineral dusts in the occupational setting are associated with poor lung health, however very little is known about the impact of heterogeneous community derived particles. We have preliminary evidence to suggest that the concentration of iron (Fe) may be associated with the lung inflammatory response to geogenic PM10. We aimed to determine which physico-chemical characteristics of community sampled geogenic PM10 are associated with adverse lung responses.

Methods: We collected geogenic PM10 from four towns in the arid regions of Western Australia. Adult female BALB/c mice were exposed to 100 µg of particles and assessed for inflammatory and lung function responses 6 hours, 24 hours and 7 days post-exposure. We assessed the physico-chemical characteristics of the particles and correlated these with lung outcomes in the mice using principal components analysis and multivariate linear regression.

Results: Geogenic particles induced an acute inflammatory response that peaked 6 hours post-exposure and a deficit in lung mechanics 7 days post-exposure. This deficit in lung mechanics was positively associated with the concentration of Fe and particle size variability and inversely associated with the concentration of Si.

Conclusions: The lung response to geogenic PM10 is complex and highly dependent on the physico-chemical characteristics of the particles. In particular, the concentration of Fe in the particles may be a key indicator of the potential population health consequences for inhaling geogenic PM10.


Publication title

PLoS One



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Tasmanian School of Medicine


Public Library of Science

Place of publication

United States

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Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Public health (excl. specific population health) not elsewhere classified

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