The Toxic Effect of Water-Soluble Particulate Pollutants from Biomass Burning on Alveolar Lung Cells

Authors: Lima de Albuquerque, Yuri et al.

Journal: Atmosphere (2021)

Institution: Université de Lyon

Cell Lines: A549 cell (Human lung adenocarcinoma cells)

Summary: In 2018, 3.8 million premature deaths were attributed to exposure to biomass burning nanoparticles from wood combustion. The objective of this study was to investigate and compare the toxic effect of wood-combustion-related biomass burning nanoparticles from three different combustion stages (i.e., flaming, smoldering, and pyrolysis) on alveolar lung cells, by studying cell proliferation, and structural and behavioral parameters. A549 lung epithelial cells were treated with 31, 62, 125, 250, and 500 µg/mL of water-soluble particulate pollutants from wood burning, and measured by means of real-time cell analysis, cell imaging, and phase imaging microscopy. At low concentrations (31 and 62 µg/mL), all three types of wood burning samples exhibited no toxicity. At 125 µg/mL, they caused decreased cell proliferation compared to the control. Exposure to higher concentrations (250 and 500 µg/mL) killed the cells. Cell physical parameters (area, optical volume, eccentricity, perimeter, and optical thickness) and behavioral parameters (migration, motility, and motility speed) did not change in response to exposure to wood burning materials up to a concentration of 125 µg/mL. Exposure to higher concentrations (250 and 500 µg/mL) changed cell perimeter, optical thickness for smoldering and flaming particles, and led to decreased migration, motility, and motility speed of cells. In conclusion, all three of the combustion water-soluble organic pollutants were identified as equally toxic by real-time cell analysis (RTCA) results. The parameters describing cell structure suggest that pyrolysis particles were slightly less toxic than others.

Keywords: HoloMonitor M4, cell proliferation and viability, cell motility, wood biomass burning particles, in vitro cytotoxicity, rtca

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