Exposure to diesel exhaust particles results in altered lung microbial profiles, associated with increased reactive oxygen species/reactive nitrogen species and inflammation, in C57Bl/6 wildtype mice on a high-fat diet.
Part Fibre Toxicol. 2021 Jan 8 ;18(1):3. Epub 2021 Jan 8. PMID: 33419468
BACKGROUND: Exposure to traffic-generated emissions is associated with the development and exacerbation of inflammatory lung disorders such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Although many lung diseases show an expansion of Proteobacteria, the role of traffic-generated particulate matter pollutants on the lung microbiota has not been well-characterized. Thus, we investigated the hypothesis that exposure to diesel exhaust particles (DEP) can alter commensal lung microbiota, thereby promoting alterations in the lung's immune and inflammatory responses. We aimed to understand whether diet might also contribute to the alteration of the commensal lung microbiome, either alone or related to exposure. To do this, we used male C57Bl/6 mice (4-6-week-old) on either regular chow (LF) or high-fat (HF) diet (45% kcal fat), randomly assigned to be exposed via oropharyngeal aspiration to 35 μg DEP, suspended in 35 μl 0.9% sterile saline or sterile saline only (control) twice a week for 30 days. A separate group of study animals on the HF diet was concurrently treated with 0.3 g/day of Winclove Ecologic® Barrier probiotics in their drinking water throughout the study.
RESULTS: Our results show that DEP-exposure increases lung tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-10, Toll-like receptor (TLR)-2, TLR-4, and the nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) histologically and by RT-qPCR, as well as Immunoglobulin A (IgA) and Immunoglobulin G (IgG) in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF), as quantified by ELISA. We also observed an increase in macrophage infiltration and peroxynitrite, a marker of reactive oxygen species (ROS) + reactive nitrogen species (RNS), immunofluorescence staining in the lungs of DEP-exposed and HF-diet animals, which was further exacerbated by concurrent DEP-exposure and HF-diet consumption. Histological examinationsrevealed enhanced inflammation and collagen deposition in the lungs DEP-exposed mice, regardless of diet. We observed an expansion of Proteobacteria, by qPCR of bacterial 16S rRNA, in the BALF of DEP-exposed mice on the HF diet, which was diminished with probiotic-treatment.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that exposure to DEP causes persistent and sustained inflammation and bacterial alterations in a ROS-RNS mediated fashion, which is exacerbated by concurrent consumption of an HF diet.