Acute Exposure to Diesel Exhaust Impairs Nitric Oxide–Mediated Endothelial Vasomotor Function by Increasing Endothelial Oxidative Stress
Exposure to diesel exhaust was recently identified as an important cardiovascular risk factor, but whether it impairs nitric oxide (NO)–mediated endothelial function and increases production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in endothelial cells is not known. We tested these hypotheses in a randomized, controlled, crossover study in healthy male volunteers exposed to ambient and polluted air (n=12). The effects of skin microvascular hyperemic provocative tests, including local heating and iontophoresis of acetylcholine and sodium nitroprusside, were assessed using a laser Doppler imager. Before local heating, skin was pretreated by iontophoresis of either a specific NO–synthase inhibitor (L-N-arginine-methyl-ester) or a saline solution (Control). ROS production was measured by chemiluminescence using the lucigenin technique in human umbilical vein endothelial cells preincubated with serum from 5 of the subjects. Exposure to diesel exhaust reduced acetylcholine-induced vasodilation (P<0.01) but did not affect vasodilation with sodium nitroprusside. Moreover, the acetylcholine/sodium nitroprusside vasodilation ratio decreased from 1.51±0.1 to 1.06±0.07 (P<0.01) and was correlated to inhaled particulate matter 2.5 (r=−0.55; P<0.01). NO–mediated skin thermal vasodilatation decreased from 466±264% to 29±123% (P<0.05). ROS production was increased after polluted air exposure (P<0.01) and was correlated with the total amount of inhaled particulate matter <2.5 μm (PM2.5). In healthy subjects, acute experimental exposure to diesel exhaust impaired NO–mediated endothelial vasomotor function and promoted ROS generation in endothelial cells. Increased PM2.5 inhalation enhances microvascular dysfunction and ROS production.
- endothelium, vascular
- laser-Doppler flowmetry
- nitric oxide
- reactive oxygen species
- vehicle emissions
- Received January 2, 2013.
- Revision received January 27, 2013.
- Accepted May 31, 2013.
- © 2013 American Heart Association, Inc.